Cheshire man gets life for Frodsham murder over unpaid debt

Scott Davidson
Image caption Scott Davidson used some of the money borrowed from Martin Ithell to buy a car

A Cheshire man who shot and stabbed a man to death over an unpaid debt has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder at Liverpool Crown Court.

Scott Davidson, 22, from Frodsham was ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years for the murder of Martin Ithell, 49.

Mr Ithell's body was found in his car by Blacon Police Station in Chester in the early hours of 12 March 2011.

Davidson's girlfriend Rachel Horton, 20, of Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

She was sentenced to eight years at a young offenders' institution.

Cheshire Police said Davidson had borrowed money from Mr Ithell in December 2010 and January 2011, part of which was used to buy a Subaru Impreza car.

At the time of the murder Davidson is believed to have owed Mr Ithell £26,000 due to the interest the debt had accrued.

Mr Ithell was found in the back of his car. He had been shot in the chest and stabbed eight times in the neck.

Image caption Martin Ithell with his partner Sarah Potbury

Davidson, who had claimed self defence, was found guilty of his murder by a majority verdict.

Mr Ithell′s family said: "We all miss him so much and will never come to terms with what has happened to him.

"We are so fortunate to have shared our lives with him, but it is so unfair that he has been so cruelly taken from us. This is something that none of us will ever get over.

"To anyone who thinks it is OK to engage in gun and knife crime, please stop and think how much devastation and heartache your actions may cause."

Det Insp Helen Spooner said: "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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