A 20-year-old man among seven people accused of fatally stabbing Sam Davies in Lincoln had twice bought knives from an online shop in the preceding months, a jury heard on Tuesday.

Eimantas Gochman is one of seven Lincoln males accused of murdering Mr Davies in late May 2021.

Det Insp Jennifer Lovatt, giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court, said data from Gochman’s
phone showed Google searches made on May 5 last year.

One was for “prepper shops” with a link to an online shop selling weaponry and knives, said the detective.

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, referred to a knife which was allegedly used in the killing.

He asked the witness: “Did you investigate whether that knife could be obtained through the [shop] website?”

Det Insp Lovatt replied that she had, adding: “I found one that matched the knife that had been recovered in the enquiry and it was a Rambo 3 movie style fixed blade knife.”

The court heard it was 16in long with a 11in blade.

The detective inspector said she had contacted the shop and been provided with copies of two order forms, both from Gochman. One was dated November 2020 for a hunting knife and a survival knife, each priced £9.99, and linked to an address in Lincoln.

The other dated March 2021 showed Gochman’s current address in Sturton Close and was for two
long-reach machetes at £14.99 each.

In cross-examination, Gochman’s barrister Gordon Aspden QC said: “[The manager] was asked if
[Gochman] had ever bought from them a Rambo 3 knife. What was the response?”

Det Insp Lovatt replied: “He could find no record of a Rambo 3 knife being purchased by Mr
Gochman.”

A message with a bunch of flowers left at the scene reads “Too young to be gone. RIP”. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The detective also gave evidence about her investigation of the meaning and context of the slang word “dip” which was found in messages between some of the defendants.

A Snapchat message between Daniel Heydari and Billy Gill referred to “dip someone up”.

Det Insp Lovatt said she checked the top four results in a Google search and all contained references to dip meaning stab. She added that one of the dictionaries also made reference to it meaning rob.

Paul Hynes QC, defending Gill, challenged the detective over the depth of her investigation into the word and the website sources she had used.

“Did you think to use something more traditional, an orthodox dictionary like the Oxford English Dictionary?” he asked.

“No, because the way the words were phrased it appeared to me to be slang, rather than orthodox,” replied Det Insp Lovatt.

Referencing one of the detective’s sources, Mr Hynes said: “The dictionary.com definition says ‘dip’ as in stab is used occasionally and is derived from black American slang, not white boys in Lincoln.”

The witness accepted his suggestion it would have been fairer to include that detail.

Gill said in a statement that he understood dip to mean rob. Mr Tyne said another definition on urbandictionary.com, which had been used by the detective, was “punched”.

She denied that her statements were either misleading or incomplete.

Flowers and a teddy left on the railings near the scene where Sam Davies was killed. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The jury was also taken through some of the material gathered from defendants’ phones or their
network providers.

About an hour after Mr Davies was stabbed on parkland between Browning Drive and Coleridge
Gardens at about 10.45pm on May 27, Charlie Wakefield searched for “live news Lincoln”.

At 5.26am the following day he searched for “Lincoln crime news” and five hours later “Lincoln crime news latest”.

At 10.18pm he searched for “Lincoln police news stabbing St Giles”.

And at 8.51pm on May 29 it was “how long do you get for being an accessory to a murder?”

The previous day – eight hours after the stabbing – Wakefield’s phone had been used to send messages in Lithuanian to Gochman’s mother’s phone.

The defendants all deny one count of murder.

They are Billy Gill, 21, of Hatcliffe Gardens; Daniel Heydari, 25, of Chestnut Street; Joe Jameson, 24, of Whitehall Terrace; Eimantas Gochman, 20, of Sturton Close; Eric Kesel, 19, of Browning Drive; and Charlie Wakefield, 21, of Broxholme Gardens. A 17-year-old boy cannot be legally identified due to his age. Jameson is also accused of making a threat to kill, which he denies. The trial continues.

South Kesteven District Council is to dissolve a company set up to promote growth after just over three years and near £3.5million funding.

Councillors at the authority’s Companies Committee voted on Tuesday to bring the InvestSK brand in-house, with the company’s activity and annual funding transferred to the council’s Growth and Culture Directorate.

Its financial reserve will be used to fund additional pension costs incurred as a result of the move.

InvestSK was established as a private company focusing on business growth, inward investment, tourism and heritage in October 2017.

According to a report before the council, since 2018 it has received £3,338,000 in council funding – with 2019/20 seeing the highest investment of £1,368,000. Around 84% of its most recent £370,000 injection was allocated towards staffing costs.

The report said the company had “proven to be a successful body in delivering business support and has a strong brand identity”.

However, it said: “It is apparent that the current operating model is unsustainable and failing to make best use of the skillsets within the business.

“Furthermore, the lack of formal arrangements with key departments in SKDC, can lead to difficult working arrangements.”

It noted that there was a “perceived lack of accountability and scrutiny” around InvestSK and that it was “confusing to partners”.

There was also an “administrative burden” in running the company and had seen difficulties in recruitment.

The report said retaining Invest SK would increase its administrative support and reassure staff.

Councillors who opposed the company and regularly criticised its behind closed doors accounts welcomed the news and hoped other similar initiatives would follow suit.

Independent Councillor Ashley Baxter said: “It solves a number of problems of InvestSK which it has had since its foundation from my point of view.”

He said since the company’s inception, councillors had encountered secrecy and a lack of knowledge of what was going on.

“We couldn’t find out what the money was being spent on and it’s only in the last few weeks that we’ve got any detail of what the money has been spent on – a lot of that in private,” he said.

He then asked: “What’s happened to our £3.5 million since the inception of the project? What have we got to show for it?”

Councillor Phil Dilks said: “[InvestSK] was sold to us and to council taxpayers as a magic bullet to shed the shackles of local government – it was going to help make the council self sufficient.”

“If it was such a success and so brilliant, why are we told in this report that it’s unsustainable, and it’s now going to cost us to bring it back in house?”

“I’ll also welcome when we finally bring some of the other companies inhouse to overcome some of the accountability, openness and transparency problems that have been highlighted there,” he added.

Chairman of the board and council leader Conservative Councillor Kelham Cooke, said the money would have been spent whether the company existed or the service was provided by the council itself.

He said the operation remained the same, but just wouldn’t be run as a separate company.

The council has “done some fantastic things through InvestSK” including helping to hand out business grants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he told the committee.

“Before we had InvestSK we did not really have a successful economic development team within this council.

“We did not have the business intelligence on the ground, we didn’t know what businesses needed and we didn’t know where they needed to grow and what the pressures were,” he said.

“We now have a fantastic network of business engagement.

“We’ve got some fantastic opportunities and the team have got some fantastic networks now compared to where we were. So InvestSK for me is… critical to the future of our organisation.”

However, he acknowledged “the administrative burden of running the company is just not proportionate now to staffing levels and the budget levels”.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh appeared to defend the Prime Minister when he called for a “sense of proportion” on the controversy surrounding Boris Johnson’s birthday – and Grimsby’s MP has backed him to stay in his job.

A surprise party with cake and up to 30 guests was held for Boris Johnson during the first lockdown, according to ITV News, despite the rules at the time forbidding social gatherings. It is alleged Carrie Johnson, who has since become his wife, helped to organise the surprise party which was reportedly held in the Cabinet Room just after 2pm on June 19, 2020.

The Prime Minister is also under increased scrutiny as the Metropolitan Police open an investigation into a number of events at Downing Street and Whitehall in relation to potential breaches of COVID regulations. A report by civil servant Sue Gray, due to be published this week, will now be paused.

Although MP Sir Edward Leigh previously slammed those who attended reported Christmas parties at 10 Downing Street while under lockdown conditions in 2020, he appeared to defend the Prime Minster when speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 25.

He said: “When Europe stands on the brink of war and with a cost of living crisis, can we please have a sense of proportion over the Prime Minister being given a piece of cake in his own office by his own staff.”

Meanwhile, Great Grimsby MP Lia Nici also spoke in the House of Commons on Tuesday when she claimed local residents are “sick and tired” of hearing about lockdown parties the Prime Minister has allegedly attended.

“Over the weekend and the last couple of days, I’ve been out and about with my constituents in Great Grimsby, and they are sick and tired of listening to this constant thread,” she said.

“They are very happy that essential workers have gathered together for two years to get us through this pandemic.

“Would my right honourable friend send a message to the Prime Minister that they support his policies and they want him to carry on getting on with the job?”

MP Michael Ellis, the Paymaster General who was standing in for Mr Johnson, replied: “I will gladly send that message to the Prime Minister, and in fact that message is very similar to messages that the Prime Minister is hearing from our colleagues around this house.”

Mr Johnson doesn’t believe he has broken the law, a spokesman has said.

+ More stories