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'Father, 32, fatally shot in his bed as partner and son, 3, slept alongside in case of mistaken identity' Sleeping woman and child in bed next to him didn't hear a sound as shotgun was held so close to his skull when it was fired
The intended target was actually the alleged shooter's brother, as the two family members shared years of animosity and violence
16:47 GMT, 26 November 2012
32-year-old father-of-three Lee Gray was shot dead by a bullet from a single barreled shotgun to the skull while asleep in bed
A man was shot dead in bed at home in a case of mistaken identity while the victim’s partner and three-year-old son were asleep next to him, a court has heard.
Father-of-three Lee Gray, 32, was allegedly killed with a single shot to the back of the head by 29-year-old Martin Fieldhouse who intended to kill his brother Michael.
The two brothers had a 'significant history of animosity' according to Richard Mansell QC, prosecuting, and a few hours earlier Martin Fieldhouse had been assaulted and humiliated in a fight with his brother.
Martin Fieldhouse expected to find his brother sleeping downstairs at Mr Gray’s home and also believed Mr Gray may have been out seeing an ex-girlfriend which was untrue, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
'Having not found his brother in the conservatory he ventured upstairs and upon seeing a male’s body in bed with Keeley Jones, wrongly assumed that this was his brother and that he was sleeping with Gray’s girlfriend,' said Mr Mansell.
The court heard that neither Miss Jones nor her son were awoken by the sound of the shot from the .410 sawn-off single barreled shotgun because it was held to the victim’s skull.
After the alleged murder, Mr Fieldhouse contacted his ex-partner to help him dispose of the gun and he admitted that 'he had shot his brother Mick.'
Martin Fieldhouse, of Athersley South, Barnsley denies murdering Mr Gray at his home in Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley on March 5, 2011.
'He alleges that his brother was responsible for the killing,' said Mr Mansell. 'He claims that his brother involved him unwittingly in the offence by asking him to drive to Gray’s home and thereafter threatened him with violence if he did not get rid of the gun.”
Mr Fieldhouse claims his brother killed Mr Gray in a dispute over an 80,000 drug debt allegedly owed by Mr Gray to Michael Fieldhouse as a result of their joint drug dealing.
He also says Mr Fieldhouse tried to persuade Mr Gray to having been the driver of a car involved in a near-fatal collision the previous evening to wipe the debt clear and when Mr Gray refused, Michael Fieldhouse decided to kill him.
Martin Fieldhouse claimed in police interviews that his brother had slept with a girlfriend of his whom he 'loved dearly' and Martin Fieldhouse himself was shot in the stomach with a shot gun in 2006 'either by or on behalf of his brother.'
While serving a prison term in 2008 Martin Fieldhouse told an aunt that his brother would have a 'reception committee' waiting for him when he got out.
He told her: 'He intended to go somewhere and hide out, obtain a tool (slang for a gun) and shoot his brother dead.'
Police cordoned off the scene after the fatal shooting in Worsborough, South Yorkshire, where Lee Gray was found with a gunshot wound to the head
When challenged by his aunt, he said he was 'very serious' and said his 'brother had slept with the only girl he ever loved.'
Despite a brief reconciliation the Fieldhouse brothers had a fight in the early hours of March 5 outside a Wakefield nightclub in which Martin was knocked to the ground apparently unconscious.
Michael told his brother he 'couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag' and Martin was drunk and unsteady on his feet about 5am.
Martin Fieldhouse went home to Barnsley by taxi and posted a notice on Michael’s Facebook website at 6.30am saying “good neet bro, love thi xxx”.
He then got his mother’s car, picking up the shotgun on the way and drove to Mr Gray’s home where Michael had been temporarily sleeping in the conservatory.
He got in through an unsecure door and not finding his brother there went upstairs. He shot Mr Gray once to the back of the head before leaving the house and driving off at speed.
The alleged murder was only discovered when Keeley Jones woke up and rang the emergency services at 6.57am.
'Miss Jones had not heard the gun go off but noticed a burning smell and blood pouring from his head,' said Mr Mansell. 'She thought this was due to an injury sustained in the car crash the previous evening.'
A firearms expert concluded that the firing of the gun in contact with the head 'could result in a significant reduction in the noise of the discharge with the skull acting as an effective expansion chamber for the discharge gases.'
Martin Fieldhouse later told a friend: 'I’ve gone and shot our Mick.' He had gone to Mr Gray’s house and found his brother in bed with Miss Jones and shot him.
The trial continues.