March 31, 2022 9.53 am

Sam Davies murder trial: Billy Gill ‘might be reprehensible but not a murderer’

The trial is into its 12th week

Defendant Billy Gill is “not the sort of person you’d want to take home to meet your grandmother”, his barrister told the Sam Davies murder trial.

But that does not make him a murderer, Paul Hynes QC said to the jury during his closing speech at Nottingham Crown Court.

Gill and Charlie Wakefield, both 21, were the only defendants among the seven to elect not to give evidence to the trial, now in its 12th week.

Gill has been labelled “the fixer” as it’s accepted that he provided Eimantas Gochman’s contact number when messaged from Heydari’s phone about needing someone “dipped up” (stabbed) in Lincoln on May 27 last year.

Gill vouched for Gochman as a “certy boy” (respected among peers).

Mr Hynes said Gill had not taken the stand because there was not much he could add to the prosecution case.

“He receives the messages, he looks at the messages, he responds to the messages,” the barrister reminded the jury.

He said “dipped up” can mean stabbed but many people do not know that and the prosecution’s witness on that matter – Det Insp Jennifer Lovatt – had been “thoroughly and utterly misleading”.

Mr Hynes described Gill as “living his best life” at the time of the killing – being able to enjoy comforts by making a “decent amount of money” through dealing cannabis.

“I’m a realist,” said the barrister, “and I do him no favours by suggesting that there isn’t a degree of suspicion about him being involved in this.

“Undoubtedly he is involved.”

He suggested that the jury would not find Mr Gill’s way of life “attractive”.

“You’re not going to think ‘that Billy Gill – he’s the sort of bloke I’d like to take home to meet my grandmother,’” Mr Hynes added.

“You may not like him, you may think him suspicious, you may think he did probably things. But none of those states of belief are sufficient for your purposes.

“Because you carry with you the burden of representing society in the case of, amongst others, Billy Gill against the Queen.”

Mr Hynes focused on one of a number of questions which the judge asked the jury to consider.

It was whether members could be sure that a defendant – other than Gochman – was aware of a plan to attack someone by stabbing.

Mr Hynes said Gill was, as CCTV had shown, out having lunch at a restaurant and then drinks at The Lincoln Imp pub followed by The Ivy. And the barrister said his client was paying little attention to what was going on elsewhere.

“Billy Gill could not have given a monkey’s about Sam Davies. That’s harsh in the context of a man who was stabbed in a park for no particular reason.

“But he’s out, afternoon off, enjoying himself and there’s not a scintilla of evidence or even a suggestion that he knew Sam Davies. There’s not a scintilla of evidence that Sam Davies had done anything to harm him.”

He told the jury that Gill was doing well off his dealing and would not knowingly have got involved in any plan for serious injury or murder.

“The last thing you would want is to get embroiled in this sort of thing because it brings the police down in numbers.”

He added: “Everything he cared about is at an end for someone else’s problem, someone else’s plan, negotiated by two people outside his presence.”

Mr Hynes highlighted two tragedies in the case – the first being that of Mr Davies.

Pointing to Gill, he continued: “The second tragedy – whatever you decide about who’s responsible and to what extent – sits at the back of the court, mostly quiet, just wondering what’s going to happen.”

Mr Hynes finished his speech by saying: “He did a small favour, not caring, not intending and not in any way being interested in what was to happen thereafter.

“That puts him in a bad position and he’s going to have to deal with that. But however reprehensible that makes him, it doesn’t, by a matter of law, make him a murderer.”

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.

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