The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a 17-year-old accused of murdering a drug dealing 62-year-old grandfather.

The 17-year-old accepts that he was holding a homemade ‘slam-gun’ at the time of the fatal shooting of Alan Garbutt but he maintains that the weapon went off accidentally.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the teenager, who can’t be named for legal reasons, fled the scene with the weapon before throwing it into a field near Helmsley House, Guisborough, where the shooting took place.

Jurors had watched CCTV of people coming and going from Mr Garbutt’s ‘drugs den’ flat in the hours leading up to his death in the early hours of August 8 last year.

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A firearms expert said that the ‘slam-gun’ was discharged from around four feet away from Mr Garbutt and confirmed that it would have been highly unlikely that the weapon could have gone off accidentally.

The Northern Echo: Alan GarbuttAlan Garbutt

The teenager hid in nearby woods for two days before speaking to a relative who persuaded him to hand himself into the police.

Peter Glenser KC, prosecuting, said the teenager shot Mr Garbutt in a ‘momentary flash of anger’ when he discovered his personal stash of drugs went missing.

He told jurors that it was ‘out and out murder’.

However, the teenager’s barrister, Peter Makepeace KC, argued that the only people giving evidence in the prosecution case were either members of the Garbutt family or were customers of the drug dealing family.

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He added: “They have shifted the blame on a 16-year-old, as he was when he was arrested, it was the easiest thing in the world for them to do.”

As the jury retires, Judge Howard Crowson reminds them that there is no timescale on their deliberations.

The teenager denies a single charge of murder and the trial continues.