The leading officer in the investigation into the death of John Pordage, 34, who was shot in 2017, has described the moment a single frame of CCTV proved Bradley Blundell was guilty of murdering him.
Speaking in ‘Killer Kid: The Murder of John Pordage’, which airs tonight, DCI Martin Passmore revealed how a mistake in a statement given by Blundell’s friend, caught the killer out.
Blundell was 17 when he shot the popular electrician in August two years ago in Chelmsford, Essex, before he went on the run.
The shooting unfolded after Blundell, together 18-year-old Ella Colgate and two others, stopped to get petrol on August 5 last year, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
While filling up a car, Ella Colegate exchanged words with Mr Pordage and his friend Jamal Samuels, whose van was also on the forecourt.
Tracy Ayling QC, prosecuting, said one of the men shouted ‘nice bum’, as they went to buy cigarettes at the garage’s kiosk, sparking the deadly shooting.
Speaking in ‘Killer Kid: The Murder of John Pordage’, which airs tonight, DCI Martin Passmore revealed how a mistake in a statement given by Blundell’s friend, caught the killer out
The story of how he was brought to justice will feature in tonight’s documentary at 9pm on Channel 5Star.
Blundell absconded to Europe for 239 days after gunning down Pordage, leaving an unnamed accomplice as the only person seen in the CCTV of the electrician’s final moments.
He resurfaced after the other two suspects were tried. He handed himself into police in Amsterdam and was extradited to the UK.
This meant that his family would have to endure another trial, and that the killer would face a fresh jury – worrying his mother and police.
Bradley Blundell, left, fatally shot John Pordage, 34, right, in the early hours of August 5 2017 at a BP garage in Essex and has been jailed for 22 years
On the night that John Pordage was killed at the BP garage in Essex, he and a friend were seen tussling with two people, one of which was Blundell.
Pordage’s friend unwittingly played into Blundell’s defence, when he said it was a blonde boy was holding a cosh (a heavy bar) that was used to hit Pordage on the back of the head.
This harmed the police’s stance that Bundell, who is blonde, fired the fatal shot – because it would have meant that his accomplice – who had brown hair – pulled the trigger. But the police thought different.
‘This gave Bradley Blundell every possibility of running a tenable defence in front of the jury,’ a prosecutor said of the fresh trial.
Pictured: Blundell said he had the cosh in his right hand but CCTV showed differently. The story of how he was brought to justice will feature in ‘Killer Kid: The Murder of John Pordage’ tonight at 9pm on Channel 5Star
The prosecution grilled Blundell on the cosh and asked him, while watching the CCTV of the fateful night, which hand he took it in after he claimed the other boy gave it to him.
He said there was no way it left his right hand after it was handed to him, he claimed, just out of shot.
The ‘gotcha moment’, as a prosecutor called it, came when a single frame showed his empty right hand.
‘At that point in that trial a real depth of atmosphere suddenly came over the whole courtroom and even Blundell himself must have thought ‘I’ve been caught out’,’ said Martin Passmore.
The victim’s mother added: ‘You could see the change in Blundell, he knew. He knew that there was no way out of that.
‘I thought: ‘what if the jury don’t see all that?”
Blundell, seen on CCTV after he went on the run after the attack, was said to have reacted to comments about Ella Colgate (pictured, right)
DCI Passmore’s excitement turned to nerves when he recalled the moment when he had to wait for the jury’s, eight women and four men, verdict.
He said: ‘That split second when the jury are asked ‘do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty?’, it’s just like,’ he said as he put his hands to his face, before adding: ‘And then you hear it. ‘Guilty’.
‘And then the whole place quite understandably erupted.’
‘It was just a relief,’ said Sue, adding: ‘But how long would he get?’
Victim Mr Pordage exchanged words with those in the car minutes before the shooting
A prosecutor described Blundell as a ‘sophisticated criminal’ based on his behaviour after the crime in burning his clothes and fleeing to Europe.
He received a further six years to run concurrently with his life sentence with a minimum of 22 years.
‘He didn’t seem that bothered, I thought ‘you’ve just showed yourself up,” added Sue.
Mark Jones, a friend of John’s since they were nine-years-old, said: ‘For him to smile and laugh when you’re given a sentence for 22 years. What sort of a person is that?’
Mother Sue added that her life would never be the same despite her relief in getting a guilty verdict.
‘I’m not the same person that I was before. He would be saying: ‘Mum, go and have a life’ – have a life, what sort of life?’ she said.