Essex

Fatal Wickford shooting 'started with family row'

Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford. Image copyright Google
Image caption The shooting happened after a fight involving two children, the court was told

A father-of-three shot another man dead after a dispute between travellers escalated, a court heard.

Hugh Doherty, 45, died in hospital after the shooting in Cranfield Park Avenue in Wickford, Essex, on Easter Sunday.

Levi Draper, of Cranfield Park Avenue, denies murdering Mr Doherty.

Along with the murder charge, he and his partner Harriet Crittenden are on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court accused of a string of offences.

The court heard how the eldest child of Mr Draper and Ms Crittenden was in a fight with the eldest child of Esther Doherty and her partner John Cooper.

'Extraordinary incident'

Ms Doherty confronted the parents outside their caravan, who then allegedly attacked Ms Doherty with knives on the doorstep.

When Mr Doherty, Ms Doherty's brother, tried to intervene, he was fatally shot in the chest, the court was told.

Simon Denison QC, prosecuting, said: "The background to this extraordinary incident was as ordinary as two kids fighting each other."

Mr Denison said one neighbour said he heard Mr Draper shout "you are nothing but an Irish whore", before the shooting.

As well as the murder charge, Mr Draper is accused of the attempted murder of Esther Doherty, of wounding her and of possessing a firearm with intent to danger life.

Ms Crittenden is accused of attempted murder, wounding and possessing of an offensive weapon in a public place.

The couple deny call charges.

The trial continues.

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