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“He has got a f****** gun…” woman had gun pointed at her in ‘terrifying’ shooting at taxi office, jury told



A woman had a gun pointed at her in a ‘terrifying’ shooting at a Salford taxi office, a jury has heard. Aaron Gray, 25, has gone on trial accused of being the gunman responsible for the shooting at Swan taxis.

He is also accused of opening fire at a house in Whitefield months later. “The evidence is consistent with Mr Gray pulling the trigger at each shooting,” prosecutor Andrew Ford QC alleged during a Manchester Crown Court trial.

Another man, 28-year-old Dominic Hughes, is also accused of being involved in both shootings. No-one was hurt in either incident. A third man, 29-year-old Benjamin Yates, is accused of acting as a driver at the shooting in Salford.

READ MORE : Man extradited from Portugal after being accused of murder appears in court in Manchester

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty. Jurors heard that a woman was working at the Swan taxis office on Church Street in Eccles at about 10pm on December 8, 2019.

She heard a ‘loud bang’ on the front door. She asked who was there, and didn’t receive a response. “She looked through the window and she saw there was a man stood with a gun,” Mr Ford said.

“He was pointing the barrel of the gun towards her.” Mr Ford said she shouted to a colleague: “He’s got a f****** gun.”

Shortly after she heard a ‘loud bang’. “It need hardly be said, it was terrifying,” Mr Ford said. Police recovered a single 9mm fired cartridge case.

He said Mr Gray was forensically linked to a Glock pistol found ‘dumped’ in a wheelie bin, along with black gloves and a black balaclava. Mr Hughes was also found to be forensically connected with the gun, jurors heard.

After the incident, a taxi driver was involved in a head on collision on Eccles Old Road with a stolen VW Touareg said to have been used by those allegedly involved in the shooting. The male taxi driver was taken to hospital after the crash.

He ‘staggered’ out of his car and fell onto the road. Jurors were told about another shooting in the early hours of February 25, 2020, at a house on Coniston Avenue in Whitefield.

A couple and their housemate lived in the property. They heard a ‘loud bang’ at about 1.35am which sounded like a ‘gunshot’.

The next morning they saw that the front living room window had been damaged. Mr Ford said a gun had been shot through the living room at ‘chest height’.

A spent cartridge case was found on the road outside and gunshot residue was recovered. Jurors heard an ex-boyfriend of the housemate had been arrested months earlier in connection with drugs and firearms offences.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Mr Hughes, of no fixed address; Mr Yates, of Ribble Drive, Whitefield, and Mr Gray, of Rayleigh Close, Radcliffe, deny possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life in relation to the alleged shooting in December 2019.

Mr Hughes and Mr Gray also deny further charges of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life, in relation to the second alleged shooting.

Mr Yates also denies offences of possessing a prohibited weapon, a stun gun, and dangerous driving. Mr Yates and Mr Gray deny aggravated vehicle taking.

Proceeding .

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