Couple sentenced for Cheshire doorman killing

49 year old Martin Ithell was shot and stabbed in Frodsham in March 2011

It was in March 2011 when the body of Martin Ithell, 49, was found in the back of his own car which was parked outside Blacon police station.

Scott Davidson who was 22 at the time, was convicted of his murder after a 28 day trial at Liverpool Crown Court before Christmas.

During the trial a jury heard how Davidson had borrowed money from Ithell to buy a Subaru Impreza car.  But as time ran out to repay the £26,500 which was owed, he, along with his fiance at the time Rachael Horton, were planning to commit armed robberies to clear to debt.

However, on Friday 11 March 2011, Davidson invited Ithell to his home to discuss paying back the money, but as Ithell entered, he was shot in the chest at point blank range with a shotgun.  Davidson, a former soldier, had claimed that the gun had gone off accidently, a claim which was dismissed by the court.

It was at this point that Horton admitted to handing her partner a kitchen knife, and confessing to the manslaughter of Ithell, who was stabbed in the neck eight time, although who stabbed him has never been proved.

When officers arrived at the house after being called by two associates of Ithell, they found Horton crying, stating she had stabbed a man. As a result of the blood at the scene and the admission from Horton, she was arrested. She later denied stabbing Martin.
It wasn't until some hours after the fatal incident that a Cheshire Police Negotiator made contact with Davidson and he eventually agreed to surrender himself at Blacon Police Station.

Scott Davidson has been sentenced to life imprisonment, serving a minimum of thirty years and will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on Rachael Horton, however she subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.  She's been sentenced to eight years in a Young Offenders Institution.

Detective Inspector Helen Spooner who led the investigation, said: "Davidson claimed he had shot Martin by accident in self defence however I believe his actions leading up to the murder show that he had planned the attack and had no intention of letting Martin walk out of that house alive.

"Horton has never given a clear explanation of what the extent of her involvement was but she has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, showing she was connected to Martin's death.

"Martin's family and a lot of people in the Chester area have been deeply effected by his death and I hope today's sentence helps them begin to move on from what happened."

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