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Mechanic was shot dead over £24,000 drug debt’

PUBLISHED: 16:20 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:46 12 August 2010

A MECHANIC linked to large scale drug dealing was shot dead at point-blank range over a £24,000 debt, a court heard on Monday.

A MECHANIC linked to large scale drug dealing was shot dead at point-blank range over a £24,000 debt, a court heard on Monday.

John Seton, 24, blasted 29-year-old Jon Bartlett in the face with a 12-bore shotgun after the pair agreed to meet in a quiet back road in Chislehurst, jurors heard.

Mr Bartlett from Mottingham ran his own garage, JB Crash Repairs in Erith, but after his death police found documents linking him to the sale and purchase of batches of cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and cannabis.

Among the paperwork was a reference to Mr Bartlett owing Seton £24,000, the Old Bailey was told.

In the days before the shooting on March 31, 2006, there was frequent phone contact between the two men which resulted in a meeting just after 7.30pm near Chislehurst Common.

"It was an unequal confrontation which culminated in the two men arguing," said prosecutor Victor Temple QC.

"Mr Bartlett was unarmed, but by contrast Seton was in possession of a 12-bore shotgun. The argument ended in Seton firing two shots, one missed the other hit Mr Bartlett in the area of the left eye.

"Put shortly this was a cold-blooded murder which had all the indications of being planned in advance by Seton."

Witnesses living in nearby School Road, Chislehurst, saw two men arguing, separated by a car and one of them had a gun in his hand.

As neighbours dialled 999 two shots rang out before the man, in a baseball cap, was seen running to a car and speeding off.

The killer fled the scene in a silver Vauxhall Vectra which he had bought second-hand just hours before.

Later that night it was found torched in nearby Eltham, it was said.

Seton's friend Lee Osborne, 25, is said to have handed over a new phone and driven the gunman to his flat in Egham, Surrey, where the pair arrived in the early hours of the following morning.

He then moved Seton to his new accommodation in Bromley several days later, before Seton fled the country.

Seton was spotted on CCTV driving a Transit-style van hired by Osborne at a petrol station in Egham hours after the shooting and was seen topping up a mobile phone.

Seton fled the country to Holland where he lived under a false name until his arrest in May last year. He was extradited back to the UK and charged.

Osborne was arrested and interviewed twice but made no comment to police and was also charged in May last year.

Seton, from Yalding, Kent, and formerly of Chislehurst denies murder.

Osborne, who used addresses in Chancery Court, Egham, Surrey; Sparks Close, The Exchange, Bromley and Duddington Court, Mottingham, denies assisting an offender.

The trial continues.

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