A man allegedly tasked with being a getaway rider could not do his job – because he didn’t know his way around Aberdeen, a court heard.
Witness Russell Clark, 31, told jurors that Darren Summers, 30, was given the task of driving a motorbike in a murder bid on Henry Stephen.
However, the High Court in Edinburgh heard Summers did not know Aberdeen and Jeff Binnie, 24, an alleged accomplice, had to take over.
Mr Clark was giving evidence on the third day of the trial of Summers, Binnie and Warren Keating, 29, accused of a charge of conspiring to murder Mr Stephen, known by his nickname of “Aitcher”, almost two years ago.
The men deny the charges.
He told prosecution lawyer David Taylor: “I think it was supposed to be Darren. But he didn’t know his way around Aberdeen so it was Jeff.”
When Mr Taylor asked why the men changed drivers, Mr Clark replied: “Because he was unfamiliar with the area.”
Mr Clark, of Aberdeen, told the court he had grown up in the same area in Aberdeen as Mr Stephen.
Mr Clark said Keating and Summers came up to Aberdeen from Liverpool.
The witness said the two Liverpudlians joined Binnie and another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Mr Clark said the four men started to plot Aitcher’s death at the home of his former partner.
He said the men obtained a gun, a motorbike, tracksuits and mobile phones, which were all going to be used in the murder bid.
Mr Clark said the plan involved using the motorbike to locate Aitcher.
He said Keating would be riding as a pillion passenger and that he would shoot Aitcher before being driven away from the scene.
He said: “They were going to find him and shoot him.”
However, the court heard that the men’s plans were set back when the motorbike that was supposed to be used was stolen.
Mr Clark also said the men told him and his former girlfriend about their plans to kill Aitcher.
He added: “They told us. They weren’t exactly discreet about it.”
Prosecutors claim the three men planned to murder Mr Stephen between May 1 2016 and November 24 2016 at a property in Aberdeen.
Prosecutors allege they planned to murder Mr Stephen “in return for a payment of a sum of money”.
It is claimed in “furtherance” of the “conspiracy”, the men acquired a Colt Model DA41 “six shot” revolver and three live .38 cartridges.
They are also accused of firearms charges and a charge of possessing cannabis which are said to have taken place at different dates throughout 2016.
Binnie is also accused of supplying cocaine and heroin.
The Crown also claims on October 27 2016, Keating and Summers robbed a branch of Coral Bookmakers at Cornhill Shopping Arcade in Aberdeen. It is alleged they threatened and assaulted two employees before robbing £2,800 from the safe there.
The trial continues.