March 4, 2022 8.27 am

Sam Davies murder trial: University graduate ‘plotter’ claims he was not involved

Seven defendants all deny murder

A university graduate accused of helping to hire the man who allegedly fatally stabbed Sam Davies has denied any involvement in the set-up.

Daniel Heydari, 25, is said by the prosecution to have obtained a phone number for Eimantas Gochman, who attacked Mr Davies in a Lincoln park last year, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

The prosecution says he got the number on behalf of co-defendant Joe Jameson, who wanted revenge on Mr Davies for burgling him of a drugs stash after the pair had fallen out.

The prosecution claims Heydari also had reason to want revenge on Mr Davies as he had stolen a bag containing a laptop belonging to one of Heydari’s friends.

It’s said that when Mr Davies was spotted back in Lincoln on May 27, the pair set about plotting a hit on him.

On his first day of giving evidence at the murder trial at Nottingham Crown Court, on Thursday March 3, Heydari dismissed much of the evidence previously given by Jameson as untrue.

And he told the jury he didn’t know Mr Davies was responsible for the laptop theft until after his arrest.

Significantly, he claimed that sent messages found on his phone referring to needing someone “to be dipped up” [stabbed] and “there’s five there” [said by the prosecution to mean £5,000 to carry out the attack] were actually written and sent by Jameson.

Under questioning from his barrister, Simon Russell-Flint QC, Heydari told the jury that he really only knew of Mr Davies by Jameson mentioning him.

“Did you have any grudge against Sam Davies?” said Mr Russell-Flint.

“No, not at all,” replied Heydari.

“Did you want him harmed, seriously hurt, killed or even just scared?” asked the barrister.

“I wasn’t involved with Sam Davies,” said Heydari. “I wasn’t anything to do with him. I had no need or want for anything to happen to him.”

Heydari said he knew Jameson was “upset” by a threat Mr Davies had made to a third party that he wanted to kill Jameson, his mum and girlfriend.

He admitted to being a being a drug dealer who supplied Jameson.

“Were you his boss?” said Mr Russell-Flint.

“Not at all,” said Heydari, who told the jury that he graduated with honours in interactive design from Lincoln University.

“It was called a power dynamic by Mr Jameson,” said Mr Russell-Flint.

“No,” answered Heydari.

“And that he was always seeking your advice or approval,” continued the barrister. Heydari replied: “Not true. He would not normally listen to advice from me or other friends.”

“And it’s claimed you were the one who said to Mr Jameson that you must carry on [with the plan],” said Mr Russell-Flint.

“Also not true,” was the reply.

The prosecution says Heydari got Gochman’s number from co-defendant Billy Gill and that 23-year-old Mr Davies was lured to the attack scene by a man known as Carlito under the pretence of it being for a drug deal.

Mr Russell-Flint said to Heydari: “It’s been said that Carlito sent you a picture of a threat Mr Davies had made towards Mr Jameson, his mother and girlfriend. True or not?”

“No, that didn’t happen,” replied Heydari. He also said he did not know Gochman at the time of the killing.

Mr Russell-Flint asked him: “Did you agree to pay him £5,000 for his work that night?”

“No, I never came to any sort of agreement with Mr Gochman,” said the defendant.

Heydari accepted that he had met up with Jameson at the city’s Liquorice Park on the day of the stabbing, which happened at about 10.45pm.

He said he knew Jameson was upset about the threat from Mr Davies and allowed him to use his phone to send and receive messages and make calls but did not know the full details of the content.

Heydari said he returned home at about 6pm and did not leave again that night. He added that he didn’t see Jameson until the next day.

“Did you have any inkling that something might have been planned in relation to Sam Davies?” asked Mr Russell-Flint.

“At this time, none at all,” was the reply.

The defendant said many of his calls and messages to associates that night were only about a possible new buyer for drugs, which didn’t materialise, or setting up deals for the next day.

Heydari told the jury that he himself didn’t take Mr Davies’ threat seriously and tried to encourage Jameson to do the same.

And regarding the burglary of drugs and cash about ten days earlier – which Heydari claimed amounted to about £7,500 – he said: “[Joe] was upset that someone he considered a friend had betrayed him.”

He had encouraged Jameson to not think too much about it, said Heydari, as such occasional losses were part and parcel of being a dealer.

The trial had been delayed for about a week because Heydari had been unwell.

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

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.