ON THE day his statement about a gruesome murder was disclosed to lawyers acting for the alleged killer, an Old Trafford man was gunned down in his home.

But Jason Jonas - also known as Hughes - told a Manchester Crown Court jury he had nothing to do with the shooting of Henry Ajilo in April last year.

He said it was untrue he had many enemies and he did not fear 'gangland associates' of the late Mr Ajilo.

He said he did know Jason O'Driscoll, 24 - who was convicted of Ajilo's murder earlier this year - but not as a member of any gang.

Mr Jonas, paralysed from the waist down after being shot on Bonfire Night last year, was giving evidence in the trial of Lee Watt, 26, of College Drive and Christopher Swarray, 27, Withington Road, both Whalley Range.

They both deny attempting to murder him at his home, but Mr Jonas alleges Mr Watt was the gunman when both men burst into his Old Trafford home at night.

Three shots were fired in the house in Fernleigh Drive. He was hit once in the chest and the bullet went through his spine, leaving him a paraplegic.

The crown say the incident was linked to gang culture, claiming the defendants were Doddington gang members and Mr Jonas was linked to the rival Gooch gang.

Answering Ben Nolan QC, for Mr Watt, Mr Jonas, giving evidence from a wheelchair, agreed he and O'Driscoll were arrested sitting in Ajilo's bloodstained car.

The dead man's body was found some weeks later and he admitted he had made a statement in which there were some lies.

Later, he made a second statement to police, disclosing O'Driscoll had called at his home with the dead man's car.

Then O'Driscoll opened the boot and he saw the apparently lifeless body of a black male.

He was told later the body had been 'dumped in a ditch.'

Initially, he told lies because he feared repercussions for himself and his family from O'Driscoll, but denied he had ever 'grassed' on anyone.

Mr Jonas said he told police he did not want to give evidence in O'Driscoll's trial because he was afraid.

He said he did not know that on the day he was shot, his truthful statement was disclosed by police to solicitors acting for O'Driscoll.

It was true that, after a friend was killed, he started to wear a bulletproof vest, but he denied he and another friend had carried firearms.

The trial continues

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