Barnes accuses ‘old friend’

| 23/11/2011

Jul%206%20Man%20accused%20of%20shooting%20-pic_0.jpg(CNS): During a Grand Court trial Andy Barnes accused a man who he said was once a close friend when they were growing up in West Bay, of trying to kill him. He told the court on Tuesday that Justin Manderson had opened fire on him outside Kelly’s Bar last summer. “He knows that I know he shot me,” Barnes said as he revealed that they were once friends and neighbours in what he said were the district’s government schemes.  Manderson (20), whose trial for the attempted murder of Barnes opened Monday, has denied he was the gunman and has filed an alibi notice with the court in response to the accusation. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

Having arrived at Kelly’s with a friend, Barnes was shot some time before 8pm on 24 June 2010. He said that as he crossed the road towards the bar, he spotted Manderson on a bicycle coming towards him, side on, and was concerned as he expected something to happen.

Barnes is the father of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes, who was shot and killed at a West Bay gas station in February last year by a gunman that police believe was trying to kill Barnes. Devon Anglin was acquitted of the murder earlier this year but during that trial Barnes gave evidence stating that he believed Justin Manderson had tried to kill him four months later because Anglin, who is Manderson’s friend and cousin, had been arrested for the child’s murder on Barnes’ witness statement.

He told the court Tuesday that as soon as he saw Manderson on the night of the shooting he was worried. When the defendant saw him, Barnes said, he uttered an expletive before pulling out a revolver from his waist band and started shooting. Describing himself as under fire, Barnes said he ducked down behind cars and then fled into a yard, jumping a fence. After the shooting stopped, he realised he had been hit and took refuge in the bar before his wife came to collect him. He was taken to hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and where he told the police it was Manderson who had tried to kill him.

At the scene of the shooting outside Kelly’s bar the police recovered several shell casings and a bullet and arrested Manderson later that night. According to the crown, Manderson tested positive for gunshot residue after his arrest and had also made what was considered an incriminating statement to the officers. John Masters, the lead prosecuting counsel, said that when he was arrested, Manderson stated to the police, “Attempted? So he’s still alive then?” but later gave a no comment interview.

Masters told the judge that the crown has witnesses that corroborate the story given by Barnes and said, “If you believe Barnes' evidence, it is clear that the defendant is guilty."

During cross examination, CCTV footage from outside Kelly’s bar played to Barnes appeared to contradict some of his version of events but Barnes stated that he could not remember every detail of the night as he was in shock having been shot, but the defence lawyer should ask his client what happened.

“You should ask your client if he did shoot me or not because he knows and I know that he shot me,” said Barnes, adding that he knew that he had seen the defendant, whom he said he had grown up with in what he called the government schemes in West Bay.

Although there is more than ten years difference in age between the men, Barnes said that they had been friends as children and played on their bikes and their families all knew each other. “It’s no mistake in who shoot me in the leg. I am the victim here. Ask your client if he shot me,” he said.

The trial continues in Grand Court one and is set down for three weeks.

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