Swansea landlord killer David Ellis guilty of murder

Alec Warburton (left) and David Ellis
Image caption Alec Warburton (left) and David Ellis

A tenant who bludgeoned his landlord to death in Swansea and dumped his body 140 miles away has been convicted of murder.

Alec Warburton, 59, was hit in the back of the head with a hammer by David Craig Ellis at his Sketty home in July.

His body was found in a disused quarry in Dolwyddelan, Conwy county, in September.

Ellis, 41, was found guilty at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday and will be sentenced on Thursday.

He had already admitted killing his landlord, but claimed it was following sexual advances from Mr Warburton.

Consultant forensic Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers told the trial Mr Warburton had three major skull defects, but there was no sign of any defensive injuries.

"I was of the view that these injuries were caused by the head of a hammer," he said.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Ellis printed off a note in Swansea Central Library, claiming it had been written by Mr Warburton, which told his tenants he had to go away to care for a friend

After murdering him, Ellis drove Mr Warburton's car with his landlord's body in the boot to north Wales.

He dumped the body in the disused Prince Llywelyn slate quarry, which he was familiar with from his childhood.

Ellis returned home before catching a ferry to Northern Ireland and travelling to the Republic of Ireland, where he eventually was arrested.

He confessed to the Garda in Ireland where he had dumped Mr Warburton's body.

Image copyright South Wales Police

Felicity Galvin, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales, said: "David Ellis is responsible for a pre-meditated and brutal attack on Alec Warburton that left his victim with fatal injuries.

"Ellis went to great lengths to plan the attack and then attempt to cover his tracks. Prior to the attack, he devised a note that he used later to deceive Mr Warburton's tenants into believing he was still alive.

"He made concerted efforts to clean the murder scene and used Mr Warburton's phone to facilitate further deception of his victim's family and tenants."

Det Insp Peter Collins of South Wales Police said: "Alec Warburton was subjected to a senseless and violent attack in his own home and his death shocked the Sketty community. Our thoughts, as ever, are with his family and friends and we hope that they will take some comfort now that David Ellis has been convicted of his murder."

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