A BOUNCER showed no reaction when sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Chester debt collector.
Scott Davidson, 23, of Frodsham, was given a minimum 30 year tariff at Liverpool Crown Court for shooting Martin Ithell having lured him to his home on the false promise of intending to clear the debt he owed him.
Mr Ithell, 49, of Great Boughton, died of a shot gun wound to the heart and nine stab wounds to his neck on March 11 last year.
Co-accused Rachael Horton, 20, who was Davidson's girlfriend at the time, did not react as she was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders' institute.
This was after she pleaded guilty to manslaughter having belatedly acknowledged she handed a kitchen knife to Davidson. Horton, from Little Sutton, will serve half the sentence.
She had been due to face a retrial for murder after the jury failed to reach a verdict in her case but the Crown Prosecution accepted her plea to the lesser offence at a hearing in December.
Judge Clement Goldstone QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, told the packed court room the state of the evidence was such that it would never be known who used the knife.
He told Davidson: “You have deprived a woman, Sarah Potbury, who you called a friend and whose hospitality you were prepared to accept, of a loving partner, not to mention a devoted family, of a special character.”
The judge said Davidson borrowed the £16,500 plus interest because he had 'ideas above his station' using part of it to buy and insure a high performance Subaru Impreza car.
He was unsure whether it was due to greed, immaturity, or because he was trying to please Horton and his other secret girlfriend.
The judge accepted the description attached to Mr Ithell of ‘loan shark’ was accurate. He had previously been known to use violence to enforce his debts but that was not the case in this instance.
Davidson had shown 'no remorse whatsoever' and the jury has seen through his attempts to blacken the victim's name.
His actions had been premeditated but he had not given any thought to the aftermath of the killing and ended up driving the body to Blacon police station where he intended to lie his way out of the self-inflicted situation.
Turning to Horton, he gave her limited credit for her late guilty plea to manslaughter which was an indication of remorse.
But he described Horton, who worked in telesales for a Deeside bed company, as ‘no shrinking violet’ in her relationship with Davidson and rejected the theory she was ‘blinkered by love’.
Judge Goldstone described her as the driving force behind their initial plan to commit armed robberies to clear the debt in which she would have participated as the getaway driver.
He accepted she was unaware of Davidson's plan to shoot Mr Ithell with his father's shotgun. But he said when she passed the kitchen knife to her boyfriend the victim had already been shot at point blank range to the heart and posed no threat to anyone.
The judge said: “You knew full well that when you gave Scott Davidson the knife that he might use it.”
Describing her involvement as ‘a callous role’ he explained how she had cleared up the bloody hallway which must have resembled ‘the scene from a horror movie’ and the defendants gave ‘not a moment's thought’ to saving the victim's life.
She had helped wrap and place Mr Ithell's lifeless body into his own BMW car and knew perfectly well that Davidson's intention was to dispose of the corpse, treating it as ‘nothing more than something for the tip’.
The judge said her custodial sentence was ‘richly deserved’.
Cheshire Police confirmed outside the court room that Davidson has already indicated his intention to appeal against conviction.