AN ANGRY gunman broke into a house and shot a sleeping dad in a case of mistaken identity – thinking it was his own brother, a court heard.
Lee Gray died after he was shot in the head at point-blank range as he slept with his partner and three-year-old son in the same bed.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Martin Fieldhouse, aged 29, crept into Mr Gray’s South Yorkshire home in the early hours of the morning and, thinking Gray was his own brother, blasted him in the head with a sawn-off shotgun, killing him instantly.
The fatal bullet was fired at such close range the shot was silenced by the 32-year-old victim’s skull.
Mr Gray’s partner, Keeley Jo Jones, and their young son, Bailey, who were in the same bed, slept through the killing.
They only discovered Mr Gray’s body when they woke to find their bed covered in blood.
Jurors were told Fieldhouse’s intended victim was his own brother, Michael, who had been staying with Mr Gray, his friend, at the time.
The court heard Fieldhouse believed Mr Gray was not at the property in Greenwood Avenue, Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley, at the time of the shooting, and pulled the trigger after seeing the figure of a man in Mr Gray’s bed - wrongly assuming he had caught his brother having an affair with Miss Jones.
Richard Mansell QC, prosecuting, said Fieldhouse was humiliated by Michael hours earlier when they brawled during a night out and there was a ‘significant history of animosity’ between them.
The pair were half-brothers and grew up together, sharing the same mother, but different fathers.
He said Martin Fieldhouse believed his brother was their mother’s favourite son and had also accused his brother of sleeping with ‘the only girl he ever loved’ some years before.
Martin, of Derwent Crescent, Athersley South, denies murder and claims it was his brother who fired the shotgun.
He claims Michael killed Mr Gray over an £80,000 drugs debt and his own involvement was limited to dumping the weapon in the River Dearne.
Mr Mansell told the jury that on the night of the killing, in March last year, all three men had gone out drinking in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The night ended in a brawl between the brothers and the men parted company.
He said Martin Fieldhouse went to Greenwood Avenue, broke in through an insecure conservatory door and when he saw a man’s body in bed with Miss Jones, wrongly assumed it was his brother.
Mr Mansell said: “He shot him once to the back of the head before leaving the house.”
Fieldhouse allegedly told a friend hours later ‘I just shot him and ran. I had no option, he was in bed with his best mate’s bird’.
The shotgun, a modified British military weapon, was found by police divers in the Dearne.
In interview Fieldhouse, who denies murder, told officers Mr Gray owed his brother £80,000 from drug dealing.
He said his brother had offered to cancel the debt if Mr Gray took responsibility for a driving offence.
Mr Mansell said: “He said Lee refused and Michael wasn’t happy.”
The trial continues.