A man has been found guilty of murdering a van driver outside BP garage in Essex.
Bradley Blundell, 19, shot 34-year-old electrician John Pordage in the chest outside a garage on Baddow Road, Chelmsford, Essex, on August 5 last year.
Mr Pordage, from Galleywood, was taken to Broomfield Hospital but died as a result of his injuries.
Judge Gratwicke told Blundell to prepare for a life sentence today at Woolwich Crown Court.
His co-defendant, 19-year-old Ella Colgate, was also found guilty of conspiracy to do an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.
The incident, which took place just after 2am, saw armed police descend on the petrol station and a murder investigation launched.
In April, Blundell was arrested and charged with murdering Mr Pordage after handing himself in to police in Amsterdam, reports Essex Live.
Blundell, from Boreham, and a friend who cannot be named for legal reasons, were driven in Colgate’s blue Ford Fiesta to pick up an Avril motorcycle which had been stolen a few hours before.
The friend decided to ride the bike while Colgate, 18 at the time, and Blundell followed in her car, jurors heard.
The group looked for garages to fill up their vehicles but were turned down because Colgate’s card was declined.
While filing up a can with petrol for the bike Colegate was approached by Mr Pordage and his friend Jamal Samuels.
Tracy Ayling, QC, prosecuting said one of the men shouted ‘nice bum’, while on the way to buy cigarettes and pop at the garage’s kiosk before the shooting took place.
Ms Ayling added: "At about 2:10am on Saturday 5 August last year, at the BP garage on Baddow Road, John Pordage aged 34-years was shot dead, the Crown say, by the first defendant Bradley Blundell who was aged 17 at the time.
"The reason for the shooting appears to be nothing more than either Mr Pordage or a friend he was with, Jamal Samuels, remarking that Ella Colegate the driver of the car Mr Blundell was in, had a nice bum.
"Ms Colegate was a witness to that shooting but the crown say she and Mr Blundell were in communication with each other, saying that were she to give evidence in this trial she would say she could not remember what happened that night and she, Ms Colegate told another witness that was what she was going to do."
Blundell was armed with a .32 calibre handgun which he fired twice.
One of the bullets hit Mr Pordage’s chest killing him and another ricocheted off a telephone box and bounced harmlessly onto the floor.
Speaking after the verdicts were delivered, Judge Gratwicke addressed Blundell saying: "You, Bradley Blundell have been convicted of the vicious murder of John Pordage. I’m not going to pass sentence on you today. You should prepare yourself for a life sentence."
He told Colgate: "You Ella Colgate, you have been convicted of a serious offence … in connection with a murder case."
After the shooting, Blundell went on the run for 239 days
Senior investigating officer detective chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Blundell is a dangerous young man who used extreme violence in reaction to what was a trivial matter and left a man dying in the street.
“He was careful and calculated in how he planned his attempt to escape from justice. He sought the help of his associates to smuggle himself out of the country and went to great lengths to leave no trace of his movements.
“Blundell tried to convince the jury he did not shoot John Pordage and fled because he was petrified of being arrested for a crime he did not commit.
“But they have seen through his concoction of lies. He has shown no remorse for the devastation he has caused to John’s family.
“Blundell and John Pordage did not know each other. They only came into contact because Blundell and his friends were getting petrol for a stolen motorbike and John happened to be at the same petrol station.
“Most reasonable people would consider the verbal exchanges that took place as nothing more than banter. A reasonable person would have walked away from a potential confrontation. They wouldn’t have shot someone in a rage.
“My thoughts are very much with John’s family and friends, and I thank them for their support throughout our investigation and the two trials that followed.
“I can only imagine how devastating it is to lose a loved one in such a brutal way and I hope it will give them some small measure of comfort that they now have justice for John.
“Colgate maybe very naive but her actions amounted to a serious offence. If we had not managed to uncover her actions and intention to lie, this case may have turned out differently and John’s family would have not achieved justice for his loss.”
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