South Yorkshire murder accused ‘tried to attack shop owner’

09/03/2011'Collect photo of Lee William Gray who was found shot dead in his bed while young son slept beside him.''rossparry.co.uk/syndication
09/03/2011'Collect photo of Lee William Gray who was found shot dead in his bed while young son slept beside him.''rossparry.co.uk/syndication
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A MAN accused of shooting dead an innocent dad in a case of mistaken identity tried to attack a takeaway assistant and appeared ‘aggressive’ hours before the alleged murder, a court heard.

Lee Gray, aged 32, died instantly after he was shot in the head at point-blank range as he slept beside his partner and three-year-old son.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard Martin Fieldhouse, 29, crept into Lee’s home on Greenwood Avenue, Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley, and blasted him in the head with a sawn-off shotgun, mistaking the victim for his own brother.

Fieldhouse, his brother Michael and Mr Gray went for a night out together in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on the night of the shooting.

Mr Gray returned home before the brothers, who had a ‘strained relationship’ after years of rows, the court heard.

Haqnawaz Rasool, who runs a takeaway bar in Wakefield, said the brothers came in after 4am on March 5. A fight followed and Martin Fieldhouse ended up unconscious.

He said Fieldhouse put a brick on the counter, adding: “He tried to punch me a couple of times. Mick tried to calm him down and asked him to leave. He was trying to be abusive to Mick as well, trying to offer him out for a fight. I didn’t see the fight, I just saw Martin unconscious.”

Mr Rasool said he walked Michael to a taxi so he could travel home.

“Mick didn’t start a fight, Martin was aggressive towards him,” he told the jury.

Customer Jessica Pitts, said Michael ‘seemed quite upset’.

“He was saying how much he did for Martin, and how he has the urge to fight whenever he drinks.”

Michael was staying with Mr Gray at the time of the killing.

Fieldhouse allegedly went to Greenwood Avenue thinking Lee would be out, and pulled the shotgun trigger when he saw the figure of a man in bed, wrongly assuming he had caught his brother having an affair with Lee’s partner.

Fieldhouse denies murder, claiming his brother Michael was responsible.

The trial continues.