Manchester

Gunman jailed for Wythenshawe traffic lights killing

Kevin Bond
Image caption Kevin Bond was shot after getting out of his car at traffic lights

A gunman has been jailed for life for the murder of a man he shot dead at traffic lights in south Manchester.

Kevin Bond, 30, was killed by Robert Knott in front of his fiancee in Wythenshawe as the couple travelled to a wedding fair in September 2010.

He was blasted with a shotgun when he got of the car to confront the 30-year-old, who had been following him.

Knott, of Timperley, was found guilty by a jury at Manchester Crown Court and told he must serve a minimum 30 years.

Mr Bond, a father-of-one, was shot in the abdomen at close range and died a short time later in hospital.

Motive unclear

Knott handed himself into police about a month after the killing after being named as a suspect by people within the community.

Greater Manchester Police said the pair had "crossed paths" at a petrol station immediately before the killing, but that the motive remained unclear.

Image caption Knott had claimed he was acting in self-defence

Knott had denied murder, claiming he acted in self-defence. But Mr Bond had been unarmed and the jury rejected his version of events.

Speaking after the verdict, Mr Bond's mother, Jackie Bond, said her son's "senseless death" had left a "perpetual void" for the family, which had been made worse by Knott's "series of lies".

"I am so sad and angry that Kevin was taken from us, so shockingly," said Mrs Bond.

"My son was the victim of a horrific crime and wasn't able to defend himself yet he was portrayed as the aggressor by Knott in order to justify his own callous actions on that fateful day in September."

Mrs Bond thanked the witnesses who came forward to give evidence in the case.

Det Ch Insp Pete Giles, of the major incident team, said: "We might never really know exactly why Knott shot Kevin but he has deprived a family of a son and brother and a child of a father.

"He shot Kevin, who was not armed, in cold blood and his sentence reflects just how dimly the police and courts view the use of firearms."

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