A man has denied helping the killers of a takeaway boss who was gunned down as he worked at his shop.
Jason Errington is accused of assisting Michael McDougal and Michael Mullen following the murder of dad-of-two Tipu Sultan at his family-run Herbs and Spice takeway, in South Shields, last April.
He denies helping the offenders and will face a trial by a jury next summer.
Mr Sultan, who lived in Millfield, Sunderland, died after being blasted in the neck with a sawn-off shotgun by killer Michael McDougall on April 7 of last year.
The gunman had been taken to and from the scene by getaway driver Michael Mullen on the back of a motorbike, which was later found burnt out.
McDougal, 47, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields was jailed for 34 years after being found guilty of Mr Sultan's murder as well as two charges of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Mullen, 24, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, was cleared of murder but was locked up for 12 years after found guilty of manslaughter.
Errington, 43, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, is accused of helping both killers by giving them a lift from Whitburn to South Shields, with the intent of impeding their prosecution or arrest.
At Newcastle Crown Court Errington pleaded not guilty to two charges of assisting an offender.
Judge Tim Gittins said his trial will be heard before a jury on July 17 next year.
Errington was granted conditional bail in the meantime.