Beck Row: Murder accused denies ambushing men in double shooting

A MAN accused of murdering two men at a Suffolk caravan park has denied ambushing them after they set light to a caravan and a toilet block on the plot where he lived.

During his second day in the witness box at Ipswich Crown Court, Christopher Line denied he had lain in wait for 20-year-old Shane Hill and 29-year-old David Castell behind a bush at Willow Park, Beck Row, near Mildenhall and shot them after the arson attack.

Line, 29, told the court that following an attempt to burn a caravan on the plot four days before the alleged murders his boss Sam Vinden, who lived with his family on the same plot as Line, had told him to be extra vigilant.

Line said Mr Vinden had started taking his family away from the site at night and had left him to keep an eye on things including looking after dogs and horses on their plot.

Line denied a suggestion from prosecution counsel Karim Khalil that he had armed himself with a shotgun and had blasted Mr Hill four times from a distance before shooting him twice at close-range as a warning to anyone who was thinking of “messing with” him and Mr Vinden.

He also denied he had shot Mr Castell in the neck and head at close range while he was sitting in his car and had set light to the car as another warning.

Line, has denied murdering Mr Castell and Mr Hill, both of Southend on March 15 last year

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It has been alleged that Line shot the men dead in an execution style killing after they drove to Willow Park to set light to caravans on the plot occupied by Line and Mr Vinden and his family.

The court has heard that police officers who went to the caravan park after neighbours reported hearing gunshots, found the body of Mr Hill on a pathway and Mr Castell in his burning car.

During his evidence Line has accepted that prior to March 15 police had warned him and Mr Vinden about threats to their lives and said he was aware Mr Vinden had fallen out with some people over land deals.

He has claimed he panicked and fled from the site after hearing gunshots on March 15 and denied seeing Mr Hill or Mr Castell on the evening in question.

The trial continues today.

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