Tom Bell trial: Jury retire to consider their verdict

The jury have retired to consider their verdicts in the trial of two men accused of the murder of a Doncaster boxer, who was fatally shot in a packed pub.

By Sarah Marshall
Wednesday, 14 August, 2019, 09:36
'Promising boxer' Tom Bell was fatally shot at the Maple Tree pub in Balby on January 17 this year

Scott Gocoul, 28, of no fixed abode and Joseph Bennia, 30, of no fixed abode, went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, June 18, accused of the murder of 21-year-old Tom Bell.

The jury were sent out to consider their verdicts at 10.10 this morning, following an eight-week trial.

Both defendants deny murdering Mr Bell, who died after being shot twice at the Maple Tree pub in Balby on the evening of January 21 this year.

At the opening of the trial, prosecutor, Nicholas Campbell QC, said it is the Crown’s case that one of the defendants waited in a stolen white BMW that was parked on a roundabout yards away from the pub, as the other one carried out the fatal shooting with a shotgun at 8.44pm.

“The prosecution cannot say at this stage precisely what role each of these defendants played,” said Mr Campbell.

The court heard how one of Mr Bell’s friends spotted the gunman before he opened fire and shouted: ‘get down’ as the killer pulled out his gun.

Mr Campbell said: “As everyone reacted to that, two shots were fired in quick succession, each in a different direction, breaking two panes of glass.”

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After receiving his fatal injuries, Mr Bell repeatedly shouted: ‘I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot’.

“Tom Bell’s last words were to ask: ‘Is it bad?,” Mr Campbell told the jury, adding that Mr Bell collapsed by the bar seconds later and never regained consciousness.

Mr Bell died at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield a short time later.

Bar staff said Mr Bell was shot in front of an estimated 60-70 witnesses, many of whom had come to the pub for the weekly quiz that had been due to start at 9pm that evening.

Mr Campbell described Mr Bell as a ‘promising boxer’ who had turned professional at the age of 18 and was due to have his seventh professional fight in February this year, just weeks after he was gunned down.

The trial continues.