05 Jan 2021

A man has been jailed for life after killing and chopping up his 71-year-old landlord, before putting his body parts out to be eaten by badgers.

Daniel Walsh was jailed for life for slaying “proud and brave” pensioner Graham Snell, the Derby Telegraph reports.

The 30-year-old took taxis to nearby DIY stores where he bought the implements he needed to dismember and bury Mr Snell.

Walsh, who turns 31 this week, refused to appear in person for his sentencing hearing or from a video-link from HMP Nottingham. He has always refused to reveal how he killed the man.

Telling Walsh in his absence it would be 27 years before he will even be eligible to apply for parole, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “Graham Snell was a quiet unassuming man, well-liked by his neighbours, a private man who led an ordered life.

“His cause of death remains unascertained and that is because only you (Walsh) knows how you killed him.

“Only you know what you did to Mr Snell but after you killed him what you then did over the next few days was to systematically try and get away within the murder of Mr Snell.

“You gruesomely cut him to pieces and caught a taxi to a badger sett where you dug a number of holes and buried his body parts no doubt hoping he would be eaten by badgers.”

Following a near three-week trial at Derby Crown Court in November and December, a jury took just an hour to find Walsh guilty of murder.

The trial was told how he admitted to dismembering the pensioner but denied being the man who killed him at their home in Chesterfield in June 2019.

He then buried the body parts, some of which remained undetected for months, down a badger sett in woodland in the town.

Walsh was due to be sentenced on December 14 but sensationally sacked his legal team that morning and the hearing was adjourned until today.

At that December hearing, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC read out a victim impact statement made by Mr Snell’s family.

In it one of his niece’s said: “The fact that he was dismembered in such way absolutely disgusts me.

“Graham had his life cut short in the cruellest of ways and even now before I go to sleep I worry what he suffered and what he went through.

“Graham was a lovely proud and brave man who kept himself to himself and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.”

Walsh’s original trial in March of this year, had to be halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But Mr Joyce, opening the re-trial in November, told the hearing “The cause of death is unascertained because there were so many body parts but we know what he did.

“He killed him, he chopped him up and fed him to the badgers.

“What you will hear is absolutely awful and what he did was murder.

“It was murder to get his hands on this man’s money.”

Mr Joyce said on June 19, 2019, Mr Snell, who was single and retired, went to Chesterfield police station.

He said he complained that Walsh had been stealing from his bank account and asked to see a police officer.

Mr Joyce said an officer went to the Marsden Street address where both men lived the following morning but there was no answer and calls to Mr Snell’s mobile phone went straight to answerphone.

Mr Joyce said: “By that time, 9.30am on June 20, Graham Snell was dead and it is the prosecution’s case that he had been killed by Mr Walsh about whom he had made the complaint.”

He said just over an hour later Walsh, who had not answered the door to the officer despite being inside, left the house and went to a Wickes DIY store where he bought 10 rubble sacks and two saws which he took back to the address.

Mr Joyce said: “What did he want the saws and the sacks for?

“He wanted the saws to cut through the bones of the dead body of Graham Snell and the sacks to put parts of his body in the carry them away.”

Mr Joyce said two days later Walsh caught a train to Birmingham where he tried and failed to obtain an emergency passport.

He said by June 24 the disposal of Mr Snell’s body began.

Mr Joyce said: “Many parts of Graham Snell’s body were either buried or pushed down into various parts of a badger sett.

“Later the police and the Royal Engineers were to spend nearly a month examining the badger sett.

“The head and arms were buried in parts of a wood a little way away.

“On July 2, the remainder of Mr Snell’s torso in three parts was recovered inside three black bags from the main rubbish bins that services flats in Oakamoor Close.”

Mr Joyce said in the following days Walsh made trips to casinos in Sheffield and arcades in Matlock Bath where he spent “a considerable amount of money he managed to obtain from Graham Snell’s accounts after his death”.

Mr Joyce told the jury how Walsh was jailed for six months in 2009 for stealing £5,000 from Mr Snell and in 2014 he was convicted of assaulting the same victim by punching him twice to the head.

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