A MAN was murdered with a single pistol shot to his head by three men who were dealing hard drugs in Southampton, a court heard.

Jahmel Jones suffered the wound on the morning of April 20 last year, just before 11am inside a city centre flat where he had been staying.

Winchester Crown Court heard how Jahmel - who was also known as Jamal - was also shot in the arm but the weapon used has never been found.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Ian Lawrie QC told a jury of seven women and five men that Pierre Lewis, Isaac Boateng and Jemmikai Orlebar-Forbes went to the property at 69 St Mary Street and were responsible for the killing.

Mr Lawrie told the court: "Just as they act in a seamless fashion in the supply of Class A drugs, I would suggest that is echoed in their approach to the shooting of Jahmel Jones."

But he told the jury that there was "no neatly packaged motive" for the killing, although Jahmel was also dealing drugs in the city and the three accused were "operating in the same customer patch".

The court heard how Jahmel - who was known familiarly as 'Lucky' - was very well know in Southampton, particularly the St Mary's area. Although he hailed from London, he would stay regularly with friends and drug users at a property from where he would arrange his deals.

"At the heart of it is the supply of Class A drugs in Southampton," said Mr Lawrie.

Lewis, 20, of Barnes, London, Boateng, 22, of Hounslow, and Oflebar-Forbes, 20, of London, all deny murder.

They have all pleaded guilty to other charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

They are joined in the dock by 35-year-old Rachel Kenehan of London, who denies a charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

She also faces further allegations she assisted an offender by taking the trio to London and letting them stay at her flat.

Finally she is accused of perverting the course of justice in relation to three speeding tickets for which she claimed she was the driver of the car concerned.