Man denies plot to murder love rival

Police officers at the scene of the shooting in Accrington
Police officers at the scene of the shooting in Accrington
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A man accused of plotting to murder a love rival in a child custody feud told the court: “There was no plan to kill him that night.”

Kevin King, 30, denies conspiracy to murder Mark Walsh, who was left with permanent hearing loss after he was peppered with more than 100 pellets from a sawn-off shotgun outside his home.

He’s doing everything he can for me not to have access to my little one

King, of Lodge Lane, Lytham St Annes, said he “disliked” Mr Walsh and his partner Chloe Goodbear – the mother of King’s daughter – but insisted he did not hate the pair.

Speaking from the witness box at Preston Crown Court, the wagon driver described Walsh as “a bully’ and claimed he had accused King of the shooting in a bid to jeopardise an impending court hearing.

He said: “He’s doing everything he can for me not to have access to my little one. He told the police I was there so I would get charged with attempted murder to guarantee I wouldn’t see her.”

Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting, said Walsh had been mistaken when he had identified King as being the gunman.

But King said: “It wasn’t a mistake. He knew I wasn’t there but he’s trying to put me there.

“It was malicious. He knew I wasn’t there and he’s told the police ‘it’s definitely Kevin King’.”

He told the court his friend Donovan Wallace, 26, of Lodge Lane, St Annes, had admitted firing the gun on January and Jack Wilding, 20, of no fixed address, had kicked the gate but had run away from the scene.

But while the attack was taking place behind Walsh’s home in Accrington, King was in the south of England, making a delivery in his lorry.

Wilding and Wallace both deny attempted murder and King denies conspiring with the pair to kill Mr Walsh.

He said: “Why would I get a 20-year-old to shoot someone? If I wanted to do it and I had access to it I’d do it myself. I wouldn’t get anyone else to do it.

“I’ve got nothing to hide. If I was involved in it I’d admit to it. I’ve nothing to hide. I am here to defend myself.”

He said he had no “beef” with Mr Walsh or his ex-partner, telling the court: “I dislike her but I’ve got to still respect the fact that she is my daughter’s mum.”

(Proceeding)