March 30, 2022 11.04 am

Sam Davies’ killing is a ‘tragedy for a decent society’, says defence barrister

The threats that surrounded the murder were discussed in court

A defence barrister says Sam Davies’ killing must be regarded as a tragedy for everybody in a “decent society”.

Simon Russell-Flint QC said in his closing speech at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, March 30, that more and more court cases involve knives.

He added: “It’s all pretty sickening. The destruction that knives can and do bring we may all agree is really quite awful.

“And one reason is that it seems so simple for someone in possession of a knife to go beyond anything that was expected, anything that might have been planned or contemplated.

“And for the holder of a knife to react to circumstances and find that, as in this case, no more than moderate force has caused the most unthought of, unforeseen and unintended damage.

“And whatever may have been said of some aspects of his behaviour during this trial, the death of Sam Davies must be regarded as a tragedy. A tragedy for him, a tragedy for his grieving family and a tragedy for all members of a decent society.”

Mr Davies, 23, was fatally stabbed twice by Eimantas Gochman in Lincoln on May 27 last year.

Gochman, five other men and a 17-year-old boy are standing trial for murder. Defendant Joe Jameson is also accused of making a threat to kill.

All the defendants deny the indictments.

Mr Russell-Flint, representing Daniel Heydari, said Jameson’s account would have the jury believe that Gochman, Heydari and Mr Davies’ partner, Olivia Dann – “who are all independent of each other” – had lied about Jameson’s dealings with each of them.

The barrister said Miss Dann’s evidence about Jameson making the threats to kill to her on May 27 is important in the context of the later “need someone dipped up” (stabbed) messages, which were sent to defendant Billy Gill from Heydari’s phone.

Quoting Miss Dann, Mr Russell-Flint said: “Joe says to me ‘is Sam at your house?’

“And this guy’s just staring at me, like threatening me.

“If he’s at your house, I’m going to f***ing kill him. And I’m going to kill you if you’re lying to me.”

The prosecution agrees with Jameson that there was a “power dynamic” between him and Heydari – a drug wholesaler making up to £10,000 per week and supplying Jameson for his dealing.

Mr Russell-Flint said Jameson had been presented in court as “apparently cowering, contrite, submissive, victim of bullying, at the wrong end of a power dynamic” and wearing a suit and without the beard he wore last May.

“Doesn’t that picture presented by Olivia Dann give you a slightly more accurate presentation of how Joe Jameson was on May 27, 2021?” the barrister said.

“A wealthy, cashed up young man, driving around town in his Audi car, looking for someone who had the temerity to threaten him.

“And him threatening to do to Sam Davies precisely what did happen to Sam Davies only hours after that confrontation with Olivia Dann.”

Mr Russell-Flint reminded the jury that the prosecution claims that Jameson and Heydari were “acting together” and Jameson’s counsel said it was Heydari who initiated the stabbing plan.

“What you need to remember is that those threats were made to Olivia Dann by Joe Jameson alone, wholly independently of anything to do with Daniel Heydari,” he added.

“Daniel Heydari had nothing to do with making that threat. Daniel Heydari was not looking for Sam Davies. He has not threatened Sam Davies. Joe Jameson has.”

The trial heard that Mr Davies had stolen about £8,000 of drugs from Jameson’s store before fleeing Lincoln.

He returned to the city about two weeks later, on the night before the attack.

Mr Russell-Flint told the jury that Mr Davies “meant nothing” to Heydari and they had only seen each other two or three times.

He said: “Sam Davies was Joe Jameson’s employee, his runner, working Joe Jameson’s line.

“And no matter how desperately the prosecution want you to come to the conclusion that what is bad for Joe Jameson is bad for Daniel Heydari, actually that’s just not true.

“It’s not true that Daniel Heydari’s profit was dependant on Joe Jameson. He had plenty of other customers.”

The barrister highlighted that Heydari was a drugs dealer on a large scale but had no convictions or cautions for anything, let alone violence.

The trial heard that Heydari and Jameson met up at Liquorice Park in the late afternoon on May 27. It was alleged that Heydari showed Jameson a message which Mr Davies had sent to another man saying that he was going to steal from Jameson again and harm his mother and girlfriend.

Heydari denies that and says Jameson had already learnt of the threat.

Mr Russell-Flint told the jury: “The reality is, on the evidence you have heard, is that what happened to Sam Davies was nothing to do with any debt to Mr Jameson but everything to do with a threat to Mr Jameson.”

All seven defendants face one count of murder, which they all deny.

They are Billy Gill, 21, of Hatcliffe Gardens; Eimantas Gochman, 20, of Sturton Close; Daniel Heydari, 25, of Chestnut Street; Joe Jameson, 24, of Whitehall Terrace; 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.