A FORMER bouncer with a gambling habit denied being part of a plot to force his friend to carry out an acid attack on a three-year-old boy in return for cash.

Adam Cech who squirted the acid in Home Bargains, Worcester claimed he had been forced to do it after he was threatened by Norbert Pulko with what he thought was 'a real gun', unaware the bottle contained sulphuric acid. However, former bouncer Jan Dudi, married to Cech's cousin, said Pulko did not threaten Cech before the attack at the Worcester shop on July 21 last year, describing the account as 'nonsense'.

Dudi, 25, was in the witness box at Worcester Crown Court today, telling the jury Cech had been aware it was a BB gun as the three of them had been together when Pulko bought it two days before the alleged attack.

Adam Morgan, for Dudi, said: "When you were outside Home Bargains did Mr Pulko pull out a gun?"

"No, he had no gun in there" said Dudi.

"Did Mr Pulko make any threats to Mr Cech?"

"No" said Dudi.

"Would you have allowed Mr Pulko to threaten Mr Cech?"

"No" said Dudi.

Pulko sent a message to Dudi showing piles of cash on the morning of the alleged attack. Dudi said that Pulko was 'probably just boasting'.

Dudi told the jury he and Cech received £200 each for surveillance work but did not know at the time the child had been squirted with acid, saying the money was to 'watch a woman'. The next morning Dudi went to a casino in West Bromwich and sent Pulko a message saying: "We can't get home bro. We lost all the money."

From there he said he, Cech and Pulko went to the Rainbow Casino in Birmingham, arriving at 3.45am. Dudi would go to the casino every Friday and in one message before the alleged attack Dudi asked Pulko about the surveillance work, adding: "You know I gambled away all my wife's money."

Andrew Copeland, for Cech, said the gun was bought to scare his client. "Pulko bought your support for the 21st and you still support him."

"No" said Dudi.

Mr Copeland said Dudi was prepared to allow his friend to be forced to squirt the acid to which Dudi replied: "I have never forced him, never."

All seven defendants including the child's father deny the conspiracy to apply the acid.

The trial continues.