Chesterfield pensioner murder: Defence barrister described the accused as a 'thoroughly despicable human being'

The barrister defending a Chesterfield man accused of murdering a pensioner has told a jury they shouldn’t find him guilty because the prosecution can’t prove how he died.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 9:38 am

The remains of Graham Snell were found in 10 pieces in a badgers’ set in isolated woodland and in a communal bin outside a flats complex in the town, after he discovered Daniel Walsh had accessed his bank accounts.During closing speeches in the case at Derby Crown Court on Thursday, December 10, it was alleged that Walsh, 30, who shared a house with the 71-year-old, had murdered Mr Snell after reported him to the bank’s fraud department and police in the town.The court heard that after Mr Snell’s bank cards were stopped, Walsh used telephone banking to again access Mr Snell’s account, before visiting casinos, massage parlours and arcades.Walsh has admitted stealing the money and dismembering Mr Snell’s body, but claims he found him dead on the toilet following an evening drinking beer and Jack Daniels, and snorting cocaine.

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Defending, Paul Hynes QC, told the jury that Walsh had panicked because he was high on drugs and thought he would be blamed for Mr Snell’s death.He said: “Is he someone who preys on the vulnerable? Yes he is. Did he assault Mr Snell in 2014? Yes he did. Did he steal from Graham Snell in 2009? Yes he did. He will put his interests first. He certainly stole from Graham Snell after he had died.“Mr Walsh was rightly criticised for his performance, because it was a performance, at the police station, but can you imagine the trauma?“He must have been thinking, ‘this is not looking good’. He stole money from Mr Snell after his death. It’s despicable, but he’s a thief. He stole the money to escape because he thought he was facing manslaughter charges. It’s a bit of human life that you don’t want to be dealing with, but that doesn’t make him a murderer, that makes him a thief.“Does that make him a murderer if we don’t know how Mr Snell died? We would say no. He is convicted of being a thief, he is convinced of being a thoroughly despicable human being, but on this evidence he should not be convicted of murder.”Judge Nirmal Shant spent the rest of the day summing up the case and will continue her summary in the morning.

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Daniel Walsh is on trial at Derby Crown Court accused of murdering Graham Snell

Yesterday, closing for the prosecution, Peter Joyce told the jury: "It's all complete and utter nonsense. If he was telling the truth he'd be able to tell you what happened, but he can't."If he's got an account that is truthful, that is honest, why can't he get it right? He can't help himself. Why can't he get it right? Because his complete story is a lie.It's complete baloney and he's trying to persuade you that it's true. He's effectively saying, you lot are complete idiots, and he's taking you to be gullible fools."He said that Graham Snell had taken cocaine on the night he died. WOW! Why not mention that before yesterday? Because he has to make up a reason for Mr Snell being found dead, and he had to make up a reason for not reporting it."Walsh denies murder.

Editor’s message: In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.