'I'm a drug dealer, not a murderer' - defendant

Robert Powell wearing a black cap and a black jacket and smiling
Robert Powell was shot seven times as he left a house party in Roydon near Harlow, jurors have heard [Family Handout]

A man on trial accused of involvement in a fatal shooting outside a house party has told jurors: "I'm a drug dealer, not a murderer."

Robert Powell, 50, was walking with his sons in Roydon, near Harlow in Essex, when he was gunned down in June 2020.

Israar Shah, 39, and Nana Oppong, 43, have both denied murder during a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Giving evidence, Mr Shah told the court he was in the area at the time of the shooting "to simply sell drugs and have a good night".

Mr Shah, of Kelvedon Hatch, near Brentwood, described how the house party had finished when he arrived in early hours of the morning and guests were spilling out on to the road.

The prosecution showed the jury CCTV pictures of Mr Shah driving "forwards and backwards" in his Toyota Prius.

Justin Rouse KC, for the prosecution, said it appeared as though Mr Shah was having a "party of one" because he did not get out of the car.

Mr Rouse said: "You had an excellent view of Robert Powell coming out?"

"I didn't have an excellent view," Mr Shah replied.

"I was sitting in my car - I heard gun shots and I left. I didn't notice nothing," Mr Shah said.

"I'm an innocent man here, you've got me on trial for murder. I am not involved in this murder," Mr Shah told the jury.

The jury has heard how Mr Powell suffered 15 bullet wounds - with some caused by the same bullet passing through his body - when he was shot at about 04:45 BST in Water Lane on 13 June that year.

Mr Oppong, 43, of West Road, Stratford, east London is accused of ensuring drivers and spotters were waiting for Mr Powell outside the party.

Mr Shah and Mr Oppong both deny murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mr Oppong has also denied wounding with intent - relating to an injured bystander - and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The trial continues.

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