North East Wales

Rhyl Home Bargains murder accused 'no problem' with victim

Mark Mason Image copyright Family picture

A drug boss who denies murdering a man outside Home Bargains never chased sellers for money despite being ripped off repeatedly, a jury has heard.

Mark Mason, 48, from Rhyl, Denbighshire, died after being stabbed in the store's car park on 27 October.

James Davies, 20, Anthony Baines, 30, and Mark Ennis, 31, from Liverpool, deny murder and malicious wounding with intent.

Jake Melia, 21, also from Liverpool, has admitted all charges.

On Thursday, Mold Crown Court heard Mr Baines had been dealing class A drugs in Rhyl for at least four years and had sold drugs to Mr Mason.

He told the court he had known Mr Mason since he began dealing in the town, firstly as user, but he then went on to sell drugs for a rival crew.

Mr Baines said he never had a problem with Mr Mason, who had done "bits and pieces" for him as a worker.

He said he never chased people for money despite being ripped off by dealers "plenty of times" as it was not in his nature.

Mr Baines said he knew where CCTV cameras were in the town, including outside the Home Bargains store, and made sure he avoided them when the visited.

'Confront him'

Earlier in the trial the court heard the attack was the result of a turf war which had erupted between two rival gangs over the control of the drugs trade in the Rhyl area.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of a white Renault van near The Cob area of Rhyl on the afternoon of 27 October, with "an incident" taking place in the background.

Mr Baines said on the day of the stabbing he had been told about the attack in the Cob area, and wanted to "confront" Mr Mason about what had happened.

But he denied arming himself with a weapon, saying he just wanted to speak to him.

Mr Baines said the three of them bumped into Mr Mason later that night and got him to pull over to "have words". Mr Melia then chased him.

He said, when he returned to the van, Mr Melia said he had stabbed three people.

Justin Trickett and Sam Illidge were also stabbed but their wounds were less severe.

"I knew I was going to be arrested for some offence because the car was insured in my name and we've been caught on the parking eye cameras," he said.

"I told Melia to get rid of his knife... I think it must have gone in the sea."

The trial continues.

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