9 February 2011, 15:14
The jury in the trial of a 29-year-old man charged with the murder of Nottingham father-of-two Bernard Langton has today failed to reach a verdict following a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court (Wednesday 9 February).
Mr Langton was shot in Pilchergate, Nottingham, in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday 25 May 2009.
David Stokes, of Colindale Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham, had been accused of being involved in the shooting, but the jury, which had deliberated for several days, was discharged after failing to reach a verdict.
This is the second time a jury has failed to reach a decision in regards to Mr Stokes' involvement in the murder of Mr Langton.
Following the first trial in June 2010, Anthony Tirado, 25, of Ballerat Crescent, Top Valley, and Dion Griffin, 36, of Hogan Gardens, Top Valley, were jailed for 28 years after being found guilty of the murder.
Andrew Pleasance, 34, of Cinderhill, was also sentenced to four years for assisting an offender after he arranged a taxi to help Tirado leave Nottingham.
The case against Mr Stokes has now been discharged.
Detective Chief Inspector Kate Meynell said: "This has been a complex case which required in-depth analysis of CCTV and evidence from witnesses who saw what happened before, during and after Bernard was killed.
"Everyone involved in this investigation has been driven by a determination to find his killers and deliver the justice that he and his family deserve.
"Our evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service and as a result three men were charged with murder and one was charged with assisting an offender.
"The convictions of Anthony Tirado, Dion Griffin and Andrew Pleasance and the case against David Stokes being discharged brings an end to this investigation.
"Our thoughts, as always, are with Bernard's family at this difficult time."
Leader of Nottingham City Council and Chair of Nottinghamshire Police Authority, Councillor Jon Collins, said: "Incidents like this are thankfully rare in Nottingham as we have cracked down on gun crime and seen a 71 per cent fall in incidents over the last seven years.
"Bringing people who use guns to justice is an important part of tackling the problem and we'll continue to prioritise all work that prevents and punishes the use of guns in our city."