BBC News

Burwell Jess Smith traveller murder: Mark Mosley found guilty

Published
image copyrightCambridgeshire Police/BBC
image captionMark Mosley "broke every rule of traveller culture" during the fight at the travellers site in Burwell

A man has been found guilty of murdering another traveller by shooting him with a shotgun while a bare-knuckle fight was taking place.

Jess Smith, 36, from Bedfordshire, was killed at a travellers site at Burwell, Cambridgeshire on New Year's Day.

It followed a dispute at a New Year's Eve party, which was supposed to be settled afterwards, police said.

Mark Mosley, 42, of First Drove, Burwell, has been convicted after a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

He was also convicted of attempted murder, assault and possession of a firearm.

image copyrightCambridgeshire Police
image captionJessie Smith had been living at a site in Potton in Bedfordshire and was a father of four girls

The eight-week trial heard Mr Smith's nephew Paul Smith was assaulted by Mosley at the party at Comrades Club in nearby Soham.

'Broke every rule'

In the early hours of New Year's Day, other members of Paul Smith's family, including Jess (also known as Jessie) Smith, went to the traveller site at First Drove where Mosley lived.

They wanted to settle the dispute with what police described as two "fair bare-knuckled fights" with family members there to observe.

The trial heard that during the fights, Mosley, who was not one of the participants, used a sawn-off shotgun to shoot Jess Smith three times, including once in the back as he was trying to get into a vehicle.

Another relative, Albert Smith, who was fighting, was shot in the hand and Mosley also pointed the gun at Paul Smith, who was also fighting, and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire.

Det Insp Al Page, who led the investigation, said: "This has been a very difficult trial as Mosley broke every rule of traveller culture in which disputes are resolved by a fair fight between individuals, without resorting to the use of weapons."

A statement from Jessie Smith's widow, issued via the police, said: "To my four girls, Heidi, Ruby, Crystal and Grace, I love you with all my heart and Daddy will always watch over us."

A date for sentencing Mosley has yet to be fixed.

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed an incident of disorder involving about 30 people outside the court on Thursday afternoon was connected to the trial.

Related Topics

  • Travellers
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary
  • Burwell
  • Potton

More on this story

  • Burwell Jess Smith gun murder: Man denies charge