Murder: judge refuses bail for Binley Woods man accused of playing part in “violently-executed” attack in which victim was stabbed and shot

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A JUDGE has rejected a bail application for a Binley Woods man who is accused with several others of being involved in the murder of a 37-year-old.

The case of David Raymond Simmons, 27, of Elan Close, Binley Woods, was listed at Warwick Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

Simmons, who was not brought from HMP Hewell for the hearing, has been charged with the murder of David Gower at his home in Rugby Road, Bulkington, and conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm on Luigi Prota.

Eight other men who have already appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty to the charges are due to stand trial in October – and Simmons will now join them.

Prosecutor Andrew Lockhart QC said Simmons, who first made a statement to the police almost a year ago, was arrested and charged when he answered to his bail on June 18.

Mr Lockhart said the alleged offences took place between June 22 and 26 last year after an assault on another defendant, Gary Rahim, at the home of Luigi Prota.

The prosecution case is that the defendants plotted to take revenge for that by carrying out an attack on Mr Prota at the house in Rugby Road, which he is believed to own.

But it was Mr Gower, possibly in a case of mistaken identity, who was then subjected to what was described at an earlier hearing as a “violently-executed attack” in which he was stabbed in the chest and shot.

At Mr Lockhart’s request, the case was adjourned for Simmons to appear for a further hearing with the other defendants. But he conceded that whether pleas could be taken from him on that occasion would depend on whether the defence had had sufficient time to speak to him about the case.

Applying for Simmons to be granted bail, his barrister Narita Bhara suggested a lengthy list of conditions could be applied, including electronic tagging and a £50,000 surety from his step-father.

She pointed out he had known about the incident for almost a year, and was first arrested by the police on July 26 last year, when he was interviewed extensively over the course of three days.

He had then been given unconditional bail and had made no attempt to abscond, despite still having his passport.

Miss Bhara said that in April this year Simmons was on a family holiday in Portugal when his sister contacted him to say the police wanted to contact him.

So he cut short his holiday and returned, contacted his solicitor and attended the police station where he was interviewed over the course of 24 hours before again being given bail.

And she added that despite knowing he was going to be charged, and still having his passport, he attended the police station again on June 18 “with his bag ready”.

But Mr Lockhart objected to bail, and the application was rejected by Judge Richard Griffith-Jones who remanded Simmons in custody.

The other defendants are Rahim, 40, of Coventry; Mark Francke, 43, of Derby; Harold Hurst, 47, of Derby; Colin Potter, 45, of Coventry; Seymour Young, 45, from London; Leroy Smith, 47, of Leicester; Craig Halls, 38, of Nottingham; and Cleavone Fisher, 34, of Manchester.