A brutal thug who chopped up his uncle into ten pieces and fed him to badgers has been found guilty of murder.
Daniel Walsh, 30, butchered Graham Snell and dispersed his body parts after the pensioner caught him stealing from his bank account.
He then used the 71-year-old’s savings to go on a drink and drugs bender in Sheffield, where he gambled at casinos and visited massage parlours, a court heard.
Police were due to visit Mr Snell’s home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, after he alerted officers to his nephew accessing his bank account.
But Walsh killed him the night before in June last year, and took a taxi to a DIY shop to buy two handsaws, building sacks and a burning bin.
A court heard Walsh used the tools to dismember his uncle into ten bits.
He stuffed most of them into a badger set in remote woodland and dumped the rest in communal bins outside a flat he had previously lived.
It took him six months to tell police where he had left the head.
He claimed he found Mr Snell dead in the bathroom after binge drinking, and panicked about being suspected of killing him because he had been taking cocaine himself.
Walsh had even attempted to obtain an emergency passport to flee the country and initially told police Mr Snell was in hospital.
Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said: ‘The cause of death is unascertainable 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. It was murder to get his hands on this man’s money.’
Mr Joyce described Walsh’s account as ‘complete and utter nonsense’, adding: ‘It’s complete baloney and he’s trying to persuade you that it’s true. He’s taking you to be gullible fools.’
A jury took just over an hour to unanimously find Walsh guilty of murder on Friday.
But in a remarkable turn of events today, Walsh dispensed of his legal team just moments before he was due to be sentenced.
Judge Nirmal Shant said Walsh had refused to come to court but he did appear via videolink from HMP Nottingham.
Walsh told the judge: ‘In light of this whole court charade, I am not happy with anything my defence have given you.’
Judge Shant replied: ‘I will grant you until January 4 to find a new legal team but I will sentence you on that date.’
Detective Chief Inspector Sally Blaiklock, who led the murder investigation, said: ‘The depraved acts that Daniel Walsh carried out on Graham Snell, a retired pensioner; a quiet man and a good neighbour, are truly shocking.
‘To compound that this is that they were carried out for his own self-preservation and so he could spend Graham’s small amount of savings at massage parlours, in casinos and on drink and drugs.
‘After several years in policing, and seeing some of the worst crimes imaginable, I have often thought there is little that could surprise me – but then we came across Daniel Walsh.
‘The evidence the team uncovered during the investigation has been extremely distressing for those working on the case and those that have had to listen to evidence in court.
‘I welcome today’s verdict and hope that this allow Graham’s family, friends and neighbours to come to terms with what happened to a much-loved man who will never be forgotten.’
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