Chesterfield pensioner was 'chopped up and fed to the badgers' - murder retrial starts again after Covid halted hearing earlier this year

A lodger killed and chopped up a pensioner he was living with before shoving some of his body parts down a badger den, a jury has been told.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 10:29 am

The prosecution at the retrial claim Daniel Walsh murdered Graham Snell and then caught a taxi to DIY stores to buy two handsaws which he used to dismember the 71-year-old.

They say the 30-year-old, who denies murder, then buried his arms, head and legs in woodland in Chesterfield.

Walsh then went on to spend money the prosecution say he stole from his alleged victim at a casino and a massage parlour.

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Daniel Walsh is accused of murdering and dismembering Chesterfield pensioner Graham Snell

Earlier this year, Walsh’s first murder trial had to be halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But his retrial has now begun at Derby Crown Court.

Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC, opening the case, told the jury: “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 last year Mr Snell, who was 71, 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 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 walked to 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 to carry them away.”

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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 [two miles from Mr Snell's home].”

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.

The trial of Walsh, which is scheduled to last up to three weeks, continues.

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.