Teenager fatally shot man in the chest with homemade 'slam-gun', court hears

A teenager is on trial charged with the murder of Alan Garbutt, 62, in his Guisborough flat last August. <i>(Image: The Northern Echo)</i>
A teenager is on trial charged with the murder of Alan Garbutt, 62, in his Guisborough flat last August. (Image: The Northern Echo)

A teenager accused of murdering a 62-year-old man when he fatally shot in the chest with a homemade ‘slam-gun’ claims he didn’t mean to hurt his alleged victim.

The 17-year-old had persuaded Alan Garbutt to let him live in his home where the pair took and sold drugs, including cocaine, to regular visitors to the east Cleveland flat.

CCTV caught the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, running away from the flat after ‘accidentally’ shooting Mr Garbutt when he became upset when some of his drugs were missing, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The Northern Echo:
The Northern Echo:

Peter Glenser KC, prosecuting, said Mr Garbutt’s family had become concerned about his wellbeing after the teenager moved into his flat around three months before the fatal shooting.

Read more: Drugs, cash and weapons seized in raid at North East address

Jurors heard how one relative had witnessed the teenager place the homemade shotgun against his head and slam it three times before saying - ‘you’re a lucky man Al G’.

His daughter visited Mr Garbutt’s flat when the teenager told her – ‘I tried to shoot him three times and he has got some balls for an old man’ following a row about a £1,000 debt.

Mr Glenser said there was no dispute about whether the teenager fired the fatal shot but jurors will hear that the defendant will maintain it was just an accident.

The Northern Echo: Alan Garbutt
The Northern Echo: Alan Garbutt

Alan Garbutt

In police interview, the teenager told detectives that he was ‘upset and angry’ when he realised some of his drugs were missing and maintained he didn’t know that the metal pipe he was holding a gun.

The court heard how the teenager shot Mr Garbutt once to the chest before fleeing the scene and hiding the dismantled homemade ‘slam-gun’ in a nearby field.

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The 62-year-old, from East Cleveland, died following the fatal shooting at Helmsley House, Guisborough, last summer.

The Northern Echo: Police at the scene of the alleged murder in Guisborough
The Northern Echo: Police at the scene of the alleged murder in Guisborough

Police at the scene of the alleged murder in Guisborough

Fire crews and ambulance crews also attended the block of flats at Helmsley House in Guisborough, from around 2.20am on August 8, where the body of Mr Garbutt was discovered.

A 43-year-old man and a 28-year-old man previously arrested on suspicion of murder were released with no further action taken.

The trial continues.