Guilty of shooting Potton man in New Year row

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A man has been convicted of murdering a Potton father-of-four at a Cambridgeshire travellers’ site on New Year’s Day.

Mark Mosley, 43, was found guilty of murdering 36-year-old Jessie Smith at the site in First Drove, Burwell, by a jury following an eight-week trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Mosley, who lived at the site, was also found guilty of attempting to murder Jessie’s nephew Paul Smith, causing actual bodily harm to Albert Smith and possession of a firearm, all relating to the same incident.

The court previously heard the murder took place after an incident at a New Year’s Eve party at the Comrades Club, in Soham, in which Paul was assaulted by Mosley and other members of his family.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Paul, Jessie, of Common Road, Potton, and other members of the Smith family went to the site so Paul could resolve the issue in a “fair fight” (a bare knuckle fight).

The other members of the family were there to see fair play was observed.

However, the trial heard that while the fight was going on Mosley armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and shot Jessie three times - the fatal shot being to the back as he was trying to get into a vehicle and leave.

Albert was also shot in the hand and Paul had the gun aimed at his stomach by Mosley who pulled the trigger but the gun did not fire. It was knocked into the air by Paul’s father and then discharged.

Detective Inspector Al Page, from the Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: “The actions of Mark Mosley mean that four children will now have to grow up without their father and nothing can bring him back. However, I hope the result today provides Jessie’s family with some comfort and allows them to continue re-building their lives.

“This has been a very difficult trial as Mosley broke every rule of Traveller culture, in which disputes are resolved by a fair fight between individuals, without resorting to the use of weapons.

“He armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and started firing it at members of the Smith group indiscriminately. We are extremely lucky his actions did not lead to the death of more than one person.”