Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham riots: Two men deny shooting at police

Two men have gone on trial accused of taking part in a gun attack on police during the 2011 riots in Birmingham.

Wesley Gray, 27, and Beniha Laing, 29, both of no fixed abode, deny charges including riot, violent disorder, arson and possession of a gun with intent to endanger life.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the two were linked to the shooting by a pistol and a revolver seized by the police.

The court heard shots were fired at police in Aston in August 2011.

Andrew Lockhart QC, for the prosecution, alleged the men acted "for a common purpose" with six other men already convicted in relation to rioting.

He claimed the Bartons Arms pub was set alight by rioters and other premises attacked to draw police into the area.

Mr Lockhart said: "Their aim was to get a large number of officers out on the streets where they knew they could be attacked."

'DNA on gun'

At least 12 shots were fired from four or more handguns, and a shot was fired at a police helicopter as it tracked the movements of the rioters, the court heard.

The prosecution alleges Mr Gray's DNA was found on the magazine of a loaded pistol found in October 2011.

Forensic tests showed with certainty that the weapon fired a cartridge which was seized by police following the disorder on 9 August, the court heard.

Mr Laing is alleged by the prosecution to have been in possession of a revolver which was recovered on 19 October by police after he was seen entering a park in Aston.

The weapon is also alleged to be linked to the shooting near the Bartons Arms.

The trial continues.

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