BY all accounts, they were two tribes intent on going to war.
It began with weeks of taunting, before a mate’s 18th birthday proved the catalyst for a bloodied shooting, a man dying in his brother's arms and a jury yesterday finding his killer guilty of murder.
Chad Ross Shedden, 34, was yesterday found to have murdered 21-year-old Joshua Maynard in a quiet Raymond Terrace street in 2010 – a Newcastle Supreme Court jury taking less than five hours to determine his guilt.
Shedden had never argued that he wasn’t responsible for pulling the trigger, but insisted he had acted in defence of himself and mates when a gang-style war reached a fatal end.
The Lake Side Crew had been watching the Raymond Terrace Boys for weeks, with members telling the four-
week trial of occasional ‘‘death stares’’ and relatively minor altercations. Police told the court they regarded the groups as ‘‘street gangs’’, with LSC formed by members of a local basketball team.
On June 29, 2010, an 18th birthday party at Raymond Terrace was fuelled with several cartons of pre-mixed bourbon, whiskey and rum.
Later that night, the Raymond Terrace Boys were passed in the street by a car loaded with LSC members.
Most were ‘‘pretty pissed’’, the court had heard, before a subsequent fight saw Maynard assault members of the rival gang.
Hours later, just before midnight, the two groups met again in Links Drive, with the LSC bent on revenge for the night’s earlier assault.
Witnesses from nearby homes told the court they heard chants. ‘‘We are the LSC . . . This is our f---ing town.’’
Maynard had brought a sword to the showdown, Shedden a gun. The jury was shown both, along with weapons carried by other gang members including a machete, a hunting knife, a compound bow, other knives and a star picket.
A juvenile told the court that Maynard had lunged at Shedden with a sword during the face-off. ‘‘Who wants to get stabbed,’’ Maynard was heard to yell. ‘‘Do you want to get shot,’’ Shedden responded.
‘‘I’ll shoot you, I’ll shoot you, you dog,’’ he said before pulling a gun from his pants.
Neighbours heard two shots, one of them fatally wounding the 21-year-old father, who fell into the arms of his brother.
Shedden’s barrister, Carolyn Davenport, SC, had vigorously argued that the trigger was pulled in self-defence, but the five-man, seven-woman jury took less than five hours to disagree.
Shedden appeared distant and motionless when the verdict was read to a packed Newcastle Supreme Court.
He will be sentenced on July 6.