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Driver tailed car after Treeby murder

Jack Treeby
Jack Treeby

A driver told the Jack Treeby family murder trial how he tailed a Range Rover as it fled out of Maidstone.

Lloyd Campbell was unaware of what had happened shortly before in Quarry Road, Tovil, as the car “thrashed” past him on Old Tovil Road.

Mr Campbell told the jury he sensed something was suspicious and decided to report the Range Rover to the police.

The car first appeared behind his Seat Altea before overtaking him and another car. That car then turned off, leaving Mr Campbell directly behind the Range Rover.

“It was driving dangerously and had a wing mirror hanging off the nearside,” he said. “It had just one side light on the rear and the lights of the registration plate were not working either.

“At this stage I knew nothing of what had happened but knew it could be a potential threat to other drivers and knew it would be good to report it at least.”

Mr Campbell called the police and gave a detailed 20-minute commentary as the Range Rover continued along the B2010 through East Farleigh, before disappearing into Laddingford Farm near Paddock Wood.

He then waited nearby in Darman Lane, watching the farm entrance, until police patrols arrived.

The 999 operator asked Mr Campbell if he felt safe to stay and said he was “their eyes at the scene”.

Mr Campbell said the Range Rover had travelled at speeds of up to 60mph along country lanes.

He could see a driver, front seat passenger and someone sitting in the middle of the back seat who seemed to be on a mobile phone.

He could not tell whether the rear seat passenger was male or female, but said the person was wearing headgear, possibly a cowboy hat.

As the car pulled onto the farm track, Mr Campbell saw a VW Golf car pulling out. But as soon as the Range Rover appeared, it reversed back in.

While Mr Campbell was watching the farm entrance, police were deploying a helicopter and armed officers to the area.

A search of the farm buildings and grounds was carried out but neither the Range Rover nor those in it were found.

Jurors heard that as well as Gary Treeby being blasted in the leg, ammunition from a 12-bore shotgun also went into a door at No. 1 Quarry Road, Tovil, and a Vauxhall Zafira car.

Peter Brookes, a forensic scientist in firearms, said such a weapon was mainly used for clay pigeon shooting.

The shot would have hit Gary Treeby, he said, from a range of 2.5-5.5 metres, the door from 12-20 metres and the car from 18-23 metres.

Bill Treeby, Charity Treeby, Billy Treeby and George Treeby deny murdering Jack Treeby, attempting to murder Gary Treeby and Jack Treeby Jnr, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Gary Treeby and attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on Jack Treeby Jnr.

The trial continues.

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