A man blasted to death with an automatic machine gun nearly died several years earlier after he was shot four times, a court heard.

Larry Malone, who was fatally shot on September 3 last year in Harpenden Road, West Norwood, was “lucky to avoid death” following a 2006 shooting in Brixton, an Old Bailey jury was told.

He suffered critical wounds to the back and stomach, according to Lemuel Robinson, a former friend of Mr Malone's, now accused of his murder.

Mr Robinson, of Collingwood Road, Sutton, told the court he and Mr Malone became good friends after meeting in 2006.

The 26-year-old, who denies murder, said: "A friend of mine went to prison and so did one of his, so we were both down a mate and became friends.

"I used to see him a lot at parties and especially at the mosque in Brixton.

"I’ve known him for about four years and he was a good friend of mine. He was shot in 2006 but he had no idea who did it.

"It took him quite a long time to recover and he had problems with his back because of what happened."

Mr Robinson, who converted to Islam in 2004, admitted he had twice visited the house in Harpendon Road, West Norwood, where Mr Malone was killed but said the last time was in 2008.

The father-of-three said: “I’ve only been to Harpendon Road twice in my life - both during Ramadan in 2008 when I came back from holiday in Jamaica.”

Mr Robinson, known as Mouse and Jamal to his friends, and Andrew Cross, 27, of Chryssell Road, Brixton are accused of firing seven bullets through an open sash window using a Mac-10 machine gun before it jammed.

The two defendants, whose phone records showed they were in the area during the killing, are then alleged to have passed the weapon to Shevonne Legister, 19.

Miss Legister and another man, Dino Rouillon, were arrested the following day with the gun hidden inside a sports bag, the jury heard.

Mr Robinson, who organised the drop, has pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition, along with Mr Rouillon and Miss Legister.

A fifth defendant, Shubia Linton, 27, of no fixed address, is accused of organising disposal of the weapon, denies possession of a firearm and ammunition.

On Friday a final defendant, Eden Lee-Thomas, from Dagenham, was acquitted of perverting the course of justice.