ONE of the two men accused of taking part in a drugs feud shooting in Southampton said he was in an adjacent block of flats at the time.

Jurors have heard how Suraj Singh Bhakar was shot in the leg when he fled from a flat in Vanguard Road, Townhill Park, in February.

The prosecution claim that Calvin Lawrence and Malachi Francis travelled from London to Southampton in a hired car to carry out the shooting, which was not intended to kill but to cause serious injury.

Lawrence told the city crown court how he was acting as the go-between in a cocaine deal, claiming that the vendor was Mr Bhakar, but he would not name the two purchasers because of potential repercussions.

He said: “Once I had introduced them to each other, I left them to do what they needed to do. I didn’t need to be present.”

Lawrence said he went to a nearby block of flats to catch up with people he knew when he heard a noise like a firework or a vehicle backfiring. Returning to the flat, he found the front door open but nobody inside.

He said: “The place wasn’t in the same state as when I left. It looked as though there had been some drama. I assumed something had gone wrong.”

Lawrence said that he and Francis then drove away. Lawrence, 26, and Francis, 27, both with London addresses, deny wounding with intent and possessing a handgun with intent to cause fear of violence.