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Chester murder trial: Davidson guilty of murder

A BOUNCER has today been found guilty of murdering a Chester debt collector but the jury has failed to reach a verdict in relation to his girlfriend.

A BOUNCER has today been found guilty of murdering a Chester debt collector but the jury has failed to reach a verdict in relation to his girlfriend.

Scott Davidson, 23, and Rachael Horton, 19, had denied a joint plan to kill Martin Ithell of Robinsons Croft, Boughton, Chester, who died of gunshot and stab wounds.

The jury at Liverpool Crown Court, by a majority of ten to two, concluded Davidson deliberately and intentionally shot Mr Ithell in the heart after luring him to his Frodsham home on March 11.

But the jury, after almost 26 hours of deliberation, was unable to reach a verdict on which at least 10 were agreed as to the role of Horton.

She had been accused of being a party to a murder plan and of stabbing Mr Ithell in the neck after he had been shot.

The jury told Judge Clement Goldstone QC there was no prospect of being able to reach a verdict in her case, even with more time.

Tomorrow afternoon the court will reconvene where it will be decided whether Horton should face a retrial. If not, then Davidson will be sentenced on the spot but otherwise that would wait until the conclusion of Horton's second trial.

The court heard Chester doorman Davidson invited his friend Mr Ithell, 49, to his Frodsham home on the evening of Friday March 11 where he was lying in wait with his father's shotgun.
Former doorman Mr Ithell, who was a well known and popular figure but described in court as a 'loan shark', was owed £26,000 which Davidson had no means of repaying.

Davidson, who was leading a secret double life with a second girlfriend, decided to murder Mr Ithell who was piling on the pressure to get his money back.

He told the jury he picked up the shotgun to scare off Mr Ithell, who was threatening him and his girlfriend with a handgun, but it went off by accident.

But there was no independent evidence of a handgun and his self-defence argument was rejected by the jury.

The prosecution had argued that after Mr Ithell collapsed from a shotgun wound to the heart, the teenager plunged a kitchen knife into his neck but the jury was unable to agree on her role and she could now face a retrial.

 

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