North East Wales

Nicholas Churton murder: 23 years for Jordan Davidson

Jordan Davidson and Nicholas Churton
Image caption Jordan Davidson (left) killed Nicholas Churton (right) at his Wrexham flat

A man who murdered a disabled former restaurant owner using a hammer and machete has been sentenced to at least 23 years in prison.

Nicholas Churton, 67, was found dead at his Wrexham flat with major head injuries on 27 March this year.

Jordan Davidson, 26, of Wrexham, was jailed for life at Mold Crown Court after admitting the killing.

A police watchdog is investigating North Wales Police's contact with Mr Churton before his death.

Four police officers and one member of police staff have been advised they are under criminal investigation and have also been served with gross misconduct notices.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation began in April following a referral from North Wales Police.

Davidson also admitted other charges, including two burglaries, a robbery, an attempted robbery, attempted grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm on police officers.

The court previously heard most of the crimes were committed in the days around the murder and were attacks on older men.

Davidson had a long list of previous convictions and was out on licence living near Mr Churton, when he killed him.

In the days before the killing, Mr Churton told police Davidson had threatened him with a hammer and caused damage to his flat.

Davidson protested his innocence but the prosecution said the disagreement "may have been a trigger for the defendant's conduct".

Image caption Mr Churton, who lived alone, was found dead in his living room by a friend

The court was shown a picture of a masked Davidson holding the machete and heard he had sent messages to friends talking of his "new toy", saying he could not wait to "cleave someone".

Mr Churton, who at the time of his death was "physically frail and disabled", was a well-known businessman with restaurants in Rossett and Tarporley in Cheshire but had sold his businesses.

The court heard his family was concerned he was vulnerable to exploitation and was "an easy target".

Christopher Tehrani QC, defending Davidson, said his client "certainly suffers from a personality disorder", although it was unclear what.

'Frail and defenceless'

He acknowledged Davidson had "read up on these subjects" but said Davidson suffered from a major psycho-active disorder which went back to his childhood.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Clive Lewis, described the murder as a "brutal attack on a vulnerable, frail and defenceless old man".

He said it had been Davidson's intention to kill Mr Churton.

"That is clear from the nature of the weapon and the injuries inflicted," he said.

"You did go armed with a machete to the home of a vulnerable person. You cannot claim that there is a lack of premedication."

Speaking after the hearing, Det Supt Iestyn Davies said police officers were attacked with a hammer when they arrested Davidson, who later went on to stab a prison guard in the neck while awaiting trial.

He said: "The seriousness and level of offending clearly illustrates that Jordan Davidson is an extremely dangerous individual who was prepared to resort to horrific offending in order to fuel his chaotic drug addiction."

After sentencing, Mr Churton's family paid tribute to a "kind, loving and an extraordinary character who enriched the lives of all who knew him".

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