Man loses Chester debt collector murder appeal

Published date: 07 December 2012 |
Published by: Staff reporter
Read more articles by Staff reporter

Martin Ithell 

A DOORMAN who was jailed for life after shooting a debt collector dead has failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name and win his freedom.

Scott Davidson, 24, of Hawthorne Road, Frodsham, was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court in January after he was found guilty of murdering Martin Ithell.

He appealed yesterday, but was told by three leading Court of Appeal judges there was nothing wrong with the way he was convicted.

“None of the points provides any basis on which an appeal could succeed and, accordingly, this renewed application must be dismissed,” said Mr Justice Eady.

The court heard Davidson and Mr Ithell were doormen, but Davidson owed the victim, who was also a debt collector, a substantial sum of money.

On March 11 last year 49-year-old Mr Ithell, of Boughton Heath, Chester, went to Davidson's home to collect the debt, which was said to have risen from £16,000 to £26,000.

He died after being stabbed in the neck and shot at point blank range. The body was found in the back of Davidson’s car when he handed himself in the following day.

Davidson, formerly of Elton, claimed he was acting in self-defence, having been in fear of the victim. He said Mr Ithell pulled a gun on him when he arrived and was shot during a struggle.

In his grounds of appeal, written and put before the Appeal Court, Davidson argued the crown court judge was wrong not to allow certain evidence of Mr Ithell's character to go before the jury.

The judge had wrongly intervened in the trial, effectively cross-examining Davidson, and had failed to deliver a properly balanced summing up, Davidson said.

He also said he had been prepared to plead guilty to manslaughter, pointed to evidence showing he was in fear of Mr Ithell and said the firearm he had was defective.

Davidson faces a minimum of 30 years in prison before he will be allowed to apply to the Parole Board for release and will only then be freed if he is no longer a public danger.

His girlfriend, Rachael Horton, 20, of Little Sutton, was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to manslaughter and did not take part in yesterday's hearing.


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