A former Preston gangster has broken his silence and named a man he claims shot him more than three years ago.
At the time of the shooting in Fishwick, Preston, the man – who cannot be named for fear of reprisals – told police “a Chinese man in a Mexican hat” had fired the gun at him.
Now the man has stepped into the witness box at Preston Crown Court to point the finger at the man he claims left him with a bullet permanently lodged in his right foot.
He says Julius David, 32, of Langton Street, Preston, who denies attempted murder, had said to him during an earlier confrontation: “You’re a dead man. Bang, bang”. In a candid account of the violence between rival gangs in Preston, his alleged victim spoke of the escalation of trouble which led to him being shot.
The man told the court there had been bad blood between his group of friends and the Avenham gang since a teenager was stabbed at a New Years’ party at a flat in 2010/11.
A series of altercations followed between the man and people he believed to be linked to the attack.
“I never wanted to go for help – I wanted to be judge, jury, executioner. I was going to retaliate.
In October 2011, the alleged victim was set upon by a group of men outside his house carrying bats, golf clubs and weapons.
Knowing his partner and newborn baby were inside, the man tried to flee, directing the gang away from his family, but was beaten when they caught up with him a few streets away.
The man, who has permanent scars on his head, said: “I ran into these people and I turned around – Danny Nicholl swung a baseball bat. My legs had gone and there was nothing I could do.”
After a vicious beating, the man spent eight days in Royal Preston Hospital where he underwent surgery to have shattered pieces of bone removed from his brain and a metal plate inserted into his skull.
But he refused to co-operate with the police, telling the court: “I wanted to deal with it my way. I wanted to get revenge.
“I never wanted to go for help – I wanted to be judge, jury, executioner. I was going to retaliate.”
In October 2011 the man saw David - one of the men who had allegedly attacked him – outside his girlfriend’s house in Ribbleton. He challenged him and a fight broke out.
He told the court: “I was holding him while I was hitting him. He managed to break free. He was saying ‘You’re a dead man. Bang, bang’ pointing gun fingers at me.
“I didn’t take it seriously. His girlfriend was there and I’d embarrassed him in front of her. He was gobbing off. I didn’t think for one minute he was going to get a gun and shoot me.”
But on October 24, the man said he was outside a friend’s house in Fishwick when David, Nicholl, Ryan Malik and two others approached him on mountain bikes.
A row broke out and the witness told the jury: “That’s when Julius David said ‘Pass me the ting.’ That’s street slang for, well, whatever.
“There was a bag hanging off Danny Nicholl’s handlebars.
“He reached into the bag and pulled out what appeared to be a handgun. He handed the gun to Julius David.
“As soon as he got the gun he aimed it at head height and started walking towards me. I froze for a split second then ducked behind a wheelie bin.
“I heard a loud bang and felt an instant pain in my right leg.”
After the shooting the man tried to escape, limping away from the house where his friend’s heavily pregnant girlfriend was inside in a bid to steer the group away from her.
He managed to climb into a garden and attract the attention of a householder who took him in and put him in the bath while he waited for an ambulance to take him to Royal Preston Hospital.