A DRUG dealer accused of shooting a man dead in a Southampton flat changed his defence statement after the start of the murder trial, a court heard.

It was revealed Jemmikai Orlebar-Forbes first claimed Jahmel Jones, pictured below, was shot dead by his friend Jason Hoitt following a drugs deal at 69 St Mary’s Road, Southampton, on April 20 last year.

But Ian Lawrie QC told jurors at Winchester Crown Court that Orlebar-Forbes changed his defence statement after the start of the trial last month.

The court heard Orlebar-Forbes’ revised statement claims there was a struggle between him and Mr Jones at the flat before the father-of-one was fatally shot.

Mr Lawrie told Orlebar-Forbes: “This shows two things. One that you were prepared to lie, and two, you were prepared to blame another person for the murder of Mr Jones.” Orlebar-Forbes said: “At the time I feared I wouldn’t be believed.

“I was worried they did believe Mr Hoitt. He did come to the house and attack Isaac Boateng.

“I was scared and didn’t want to say it. It is a very serious offence I have been charged with.”

Orlebar-Forbes, 20, of London, Pierre Lewis, 20, of Barnes, and Isaac Boateng, 22, of Hounslow, all deny murder but have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Rachel Kenehan, 35, from London, denies conspiracy to supply class A drugs, assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.