ONE of the men accused of killing Reece James told a court today the 21-year-old’s death was “an accident”.

Kieron Wellington, 30, of Durley Gardens, Bournemouth, had previously told the court he and his co-defendants had plotted to burgle the flat in Roumelia Lane after seeing one of Mr James’ friends holding a large sum of cash.

But he claimed Wayne Stephenson, 33, Keifer Hutchinson, 22, and Jarome Parkinson, 24, all from London, were involved a struggle inside and Mr James was shot with a gun that was already inside the flat.

During a second day of evidence at Winchester Crown Court, Wellington said they were under the impression the flat was empty at the time and “could not have imagined the people inside the flat would have been protected by a gun”.

“It definitely was an accident,” he said Asked why he didn’t tell the police that, Wellington said: “We were scared that the police wouldn’t believe us.

“I was scared. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t saddened and sorry of hearing that someone has died. I felt sick, I felt terrible and I still do to this day.”

Wellington denied suggestions from Timothy Mousley QC, prosecuting, that Hutchinson had taken the gun to the flat with him. He claims Stephenson took the gun out of the property after Mr James had been shot.

Mr Mousley QC put it to Wellington: “You took a gun down to Bournemouth, to shoot someone in that flat?”

Wellington replied: “No way. No one was meant to be in the flat. There was no need to take a weapon.”

The jury were told that Hutchinson would not be giving evidence.

All four men deny murder. The trial continues on Tuesday when Stephenson will give evidence.