An 11-day campaign of attacks using ammonia or corrosive liquid thrown or squirted into victims’ faces culminated in the death of a man, last August, a court heard.

Four men have gone on trial accused of their roles in the killing of Andrew Foster, who was attacked by two callers in his own home in Wrekenton, Gateshead, late on Sunday August 20.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Kenneth Paul Fawcett, and his recruited side-kick John George Wandless, were acting under the instructions of drug dealer Youssef Wynne in carrying out the fatal chemical attack, as well as similar incidents at the homes of other suspected dealers, in the Gateshead and South Tyneside areas, last August.The Northern Echo: Andy Foster, 26, who died from the effects of an ammonia attack on the doorstep of his home in

A fourth defendant, Josh Craig Hawthorn, was said to have played a role in the planning of the fatal attack and in acting for Wynne in supplying drugs.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution say the violence was connected to drug dealing.

“They were part of a scheme to ‘tax’ other drug dealers.”

Mr McKone said was ‘taxing’ is a slang term for dealers stealing drugs from other dealers or, “scaring off the competition” from future drug dealing.

He said the hierarchy was Wynne heading the operation as a dealer with the other defendants working under him.

Hawthorn was said to have supplied drugs on behalf of Wynne.

The Northern Echo:

Mr McKone said banking evidence shows money being transferred to him (Hawthorn) and then quickly on to Wynne.

“The prosecution do not say that Wynne and Hawthorn were present in any of the attacks, although Wynne drove close to the scene of the first and second incidents shortly before each attack.

“It is the prosecution case that Wynne organised all the attacks and Hawthorn organised the fourth and fatal attack, and we submit they were carried out for the benefit of Wynne and Hawthorn.

“Fawcett was Wynne’s ‘enforcer’ and Wynne and Hawthorn were in regular contact with him.

“The prosecution say Fawcett was physically present at all four attacks and that Wandless was recruited by Fawcett on August 11, after the first of the attacks, on August 9.

“So, the prosecution say he (Wandless) was physically present with Fawcett at the final three attacks, on August 12, 16 and 20, with Fawcett present at all four.”

Mr McKone said Fawcett and Wandless lived in the North Shields area and had no links with any of the victims, “supporting the case they were acting on behalf of Wynne and Hawthorn.”

He said Wandless had no direct contact with Wynne and and Hawthorn.

But he said all four were jointly charged with murder, relating to the final incident.

Mr McKone said Fawcett and Wandless were, “principles” carrying out the violence at the scene.

He said 26-year-old Mr Foster died in hospital on August 21 from the effects of the attack on him, but in the other incidents a woman lost an eye and two other victims required treatment for stinging facial injuries.

Fawcett, 33, of Balkwell Avenue, North Shields, and Wandless, also 33, formerly of North Shields, but said to be of no fixed abode, plus 39-year-old Wynne, of Wuppertal Court, and 22-year-old Hawthorn, of Ashfield, both Jarrow, South Tyneside, all deny the murder of Mr Foster and robbery of cannabis edibles from him.

Wynne denies assaulting Mr Foster, causing actual bodily harm, 11 months earlier.

Fawcett, Wandless and Wynne also deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the woman who lost an eye, on August 16, and attempted gbh with intent to another victim, on August 12.

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Fawcett and Wynne deny a similar charge relating to the first victim, in the incident in South Shields, on August 9.

The court heard that Wandless has admitted handling a stolen Volkswagen Golf between August 3 and 23, and arson, destroying it by fire, on August 22 last year.

The trial, which the jury was told could run until mid-June, proceeds tomorrow.