A teenager accused of murdering a drug dealing grandfather with a homemade ‘slam-gun’ denies knowing the weapon was loaded when it went off in his hands.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told jurors that he had 'grafted' for Alan Garbutt for a number of years before he fatally shot him in the chest.

Giving evidence at Teesside Crown Court, the teenager described the 62-year-old as 'sound' and denied bullying him in the months leading up to his death.

The accused told the court how Mr Garbutt's flat in Helmsley House, Guisborough, was chaotic as people regularly turned up at the 'crack house' to take drugs.

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Peter Makepeace KC took his client through his evidence where he described how a number of different weapons were inside Mr Garbutt's flat, including a shotgun, a pistol and an array of knives.

The Northern Echo: Alan GarbuttAlan Garbutt

When asked whether he had ever aimed the 'slam-gun' at Mr Garbutt's head, the witness replied: "No."

The teenager admitted messing around with it but denies the claim that he threatened Mr Gabutt with the homemade weapon.

The jury heard how Mr Garbutt had pointed it at someone and had pointed it out of his flat window.

Mr Makepeace asked: "Did you ever see it fire or believe that it did fire?" He replied: "No."

When asked whether he knew the gun was loaded, he replied 'no'.

Earlier in his evidence, the teenager said he started 'grafting' for Mr Garbutt when he was as young as ten in order to pay for the cannabis he started smoking when he was just eight-years-old.

The court hears how Mr Garbutt's daughter, Adele, had accused the teenager of burning her father while they were making crack cocaine together.

Mr Makepeace asked: "Did you ever deliberately burn Mr Garbutt?" He replied: "No."

The teenager said Mr Garbutt would encourage people to come to his flat to take the drugs so that he could 'share them'.

He said up to 15-20 people a day would come to Helmsley House.

The Northern Echo: Police vans parked at the scene of the alleged murder in Guisborough.Police vans parked at the scene of the alleged murder in Guisborough.

The teenager said he started taking cocaine and prescription pills when he was a young teenager and was supplied with the by Mr Garbutt and in return he would deliver drugs to his customers in the Guisborough area.

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In his defence statement, the 17-year-old maintains the weapon went off accidentally when he blasted Mr Garbutt to the chest.

The 62-year-old was pronounced dead in his North East flat following the shooting in the early hours of August 8 last year.

The court heard how the teenager had been living in Mr Garbutt’s flat for several months before the fatal incident.

The trial continues.