Uncle denies ‘getting rid’ of bike to help nephews accused of murder Leave a comment


The uncle of two murder suspects denied selling an electric bike allegedly used during a shooting.

Craig Johnson is accused of perverting the course of justice by organising the disposal of an orange Sur Ron bike pictured in his Bootle shed.

Prosecutors claim Michael and James Foy used that vehicle to travel to the home of Michael Rainsford and shoot him on April 7, 2020.

The brothers deny the murder of the 20-year-old.

Their trial today heard evidence from their uncle, 39-year-old Johnson.

He was quizzed about two photos taken on his mobile phone on April 11 of last year.

The images showed the Sur Ron bike in the shed of his home on Willard Drive.

Johnson accepted he sent the pictures to a friend called ‘Deano’ on that date.

He explained he did so after heading to his shed while speaking to his friend about a fishing trip.

When he entered the shed he said he found the bike – and another – leaning on his fishing equipment.

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Johnson told Liverpool Crown Court he sent the images to his mate to see whether the Sur Ron was the same model as bikes they had seen “flying” past them in Liverpool parks.

He denied the claims of Henry Riding, prosecuting, that he was in fact sending them in the hope Deano could find someone willing to buy it.

The defendant suggested it was a “coincidence” that the following day he exchanged texts about a man with a van visiting his home.



Michael Rainsford

Johnson said he had arranged for the van man to remove rubbish he had gathered while sorting through his shed, garden and alleyway in the early days of lockdown.

He denied the visit of the removal man was a “made up” story created to explain texts showing a man with a van was attending his property a day after he had shared images of the bike in his shed.

Johnson told the court that, while the Foys would sometimes store bikes at his property, he did not know the Sur Ron bike was at his address on April 11 until he saw it while retrieving the fishing equipment.

He added the last time he saw that bike was also on that date.

Asked if he knew what had happened to it since, he told Stephen McNally, defending: “I don’t, no.”

Michael Foy, 22, and James Foy, 19, both of Rossini Street in Seaforth, deny the murder of Mr Rainsford and, in relation to that allegation, the possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

James denies a separate allegation of possession of a prohibited firearm in relation to a gun found by police in November 2019.

Joyce Smith, 46 and of Rossini Street, the men’s uncle Craig Johnson, 39 and of Willard Drive in Bootle, and Saunderson, also of Rossini Street, each deny perverting the course of justice.

Proceeding





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