THE jury in the trial of two men accused of the contract killing of a West Yorkshire car dealer will resume their deliberations today.
David Large, 36, of Rona Croft, Rothwell, and 39-year-old Simon Mullen, of South Shields, both deny being involved in the shooting of 45-year-old Christopher Hartley, whose body was found near his Jaguar car in a lay-by near Clayton West last September.
During the trial at Bradford Crown Court it has emerged that the deceased and his business partner Large were involved in supplying fake ecstasy tablets from Mr Hartley’s property in Batley Road, Tingley.
The prosecution has alleged that Large, who previously had sexual relationships with Mr Hartley, paid his friend Mullen to carry out the shooting.
Mullen is said to have gone on a spending spree totalling £25,000 in the weeks following the killing.
Both men deny seeing Mr Hartley on the night he was shot in the head and chest.
Large told the court he was on his way back from a trip to London when he came across the murder scene in Litherop Lane.
He said he feared that his friend had been arrested in connection with supplying drugs and described being absolutely devastated when he was told the next day that Mr Hartley had been killed.
Mullen admits being in West Yorkshire, but claims he was due to hand over some cash to Mr Hartley who never turned up for the meeting.
The jury retired to begin their deliberations late yesterday afternoon, but were sent home just after 4.30pm. The trial continues.