‘I snatched at trigger and the gun went off accidentally’
KENNETH Batchelor told the court he pulled the trigger of a shotgun accidentally when blasting an intruder in the chest at point-blank range.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how Matt Clements had climbed on to scaffolding at Kenneth Batchelor’s Chilham home to reach the second floor.
Mr Batchelor said Mr Clements, a 20stone bodybuilder who provided doormen for clubs, had told him: “I will get my gun out before you raise the barrels.”
Mr Batchelor, a 50-year-old self-employed mechanic, said he believed him because he had previously seen Mr Clements with firearms including an Uzi 9mm and a handgun.
He had denied murder and manslaughter
He said Mr Clements had hit the open window and knocked him back. He explained he then snatched at the trigger and the gun went off but he had not intended to pull it.
He said the gun hadn’t even been pointed at Mr Clements.
He said: “I didn’t know how badly he was injured. He looked at me wide-eyed. He ran around the corner. I thought he was still alive.
“I could see spots of blood on the planks.”
Mr Batchelor, who owned the gun legally, said Mr Clements had made nine threatening telephone calls to him before turning up at his home in Canterbury Road, around midnight on November 17.
The calls involved Mr Clements, who trained guard dogs, demanding money he claimed his girlfriend was owed in maintenance by his brother David.
Mr Batchelor denied a prosecution suggestion that he shot Mr Clements deliberately while defending himself and his property. .
Mr Batchelor’s wife Linda told how she listened to the incident over the telephone.
She said her then future husband had been “distraught and despairing” after he received several threatening phone calls from Mr Clements.
She urged him to call the police, but he replied there would be repercussions if he did.
She said: “He knew what Matt was like.”
Mrs Batchelor said she was on the phone to her partner when he told her: “Oh my God, I think he has just turned up. Yeah, it’s him.”
She said: “I told him not to hang up, so I could hear what was going on. I heard him open a window.
“He shouted: ‘I told you not to call round. I have got nothing for you.’
“I could hear Matt Clements in the distance. He sounded aggressive.”
Mr Batchelor shouted again: “Get off my property.” Mrs Batchelor said she heard Mr Clements’ voice getting louder.
She heard him say: “I told you I was coming to get you.”
“My husband was very emotional,” she said. “He was distressed.”
Mrs Batchelor said she asked a friend to call the police and then heard Mr Batchelor say: “I shot him.”