Cambridgeshire

Hinchingbrooke Park murder trial: Man 'lured to wood and executed'

Sam Mechelewski Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Sam Mechelewski had been sleeping "on and off" at the house of one of the men accused of murdering him

A 19-year-old man stabbed through the throat and neck and beaten with a baseball bat was "lured to woodland" and "executed", a court heard.

Sam Mechelewski's body was found in a country park in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on 1 February.

His "cold-blooded murder" was carried out by two fellow drug dealers the day before, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Jordan Shepherd, 23, from Chatteris, and Ashley White, 21, from West End, Brampton, both deny murder.

Prosecutor Richard Christie said both defendants claimed "they held back and it was the other who killed Sam" in Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

Mr Christie told the jury: "Both of them are lying... both of them are in it together, planned it together, executed it together just as they executed Sam that night."

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Sam Mechelewski was a drug dealer, the court heard

The court was told witnesses who had bought cannabis from Mr Mechelewski the afternoon before he died said he was carrying a large amount of cash - and one thought it could have been as much as £2,000.

The prosecution claim after the murder, Mr White checked in to a Marriott hotel, at a cost of £180, with his "casual girlfriend" and ordered a bottle of prosecco.

The following day Mr Shepherd spent £400 on designer clothing in Peterborough, the jury heard.

Image copyright Geograph/Simon Judd
Image caption The body was discovered at Hinchingbrooke Country Park in Huntingdon on 1 February

The court was told Mr Mechelewski had been sleeping on a mattress in the living room of the Chatteris flat Mr Shepherd shared with his girlfriend Ciara Ratcliff "on and off" for two years.

Ms Ratcliff, 22, now of Sycamore Drive, Huntingdon, denies a separate charge of perverting the course of justice by giving a false alibi for her boyfriend and lying to the police about when she last saw Mr Mechelewski.

Mr Christie said she began "drip feeding the truth" after her father Paul Ratcliff contacted the police telling them his daughter was lying.

The trial continues.

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