Northampton

Gus Davies murder: Simon Atherton and Amanda Butler sentenced for drug offences

Gus Davies Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption The body of Gus Davies, who was 23, was found in Old Town, Brackley, in June

Two people have been sentenced after drugs were taken from the scene of a violent murder.

The dismembered remains of Gus Davies, 23, were found at his home in Brackley, Northamptonshire, on 25 June 2018.

Simon Atherton, 42, and Amanda Butler, 40, both of no fixed abode, admitted drug and money laundering offences.

Robert Field, 23, from Brackley, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Davies, who he shared a flat with, at the start of a planned six-week trial on Monday.

Northamptonshire Police said Mr Davies, 23, was killed on 22 June. A post-mortem examination established he had suffered "multiple" stab wounds to his neck.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Police said the killing highlighted the "violence" linked to the drugs trade

Northampton Crown Court heard that Atherton - who was known to Davies and Field and had a key to their shared address in Old Town, Brackley - took drugs, cash and a 60 inch television from the property on 23 June while Butler waited outside in a car.

Atherton, who had gone to the address along with another man in search of Mr Davies, entered wearing a balaclava and holding a truncheon.

The court was told that Atherton - known as "Manchester Simon", or "Manchester" in the local drug community - saw signs of blood on the floor and walls of the flat but did not realise Davies had been killed, or that his remains were being concealed inside, despite recognising a foul smell was present.

He later told police that the value of the drugs he took, which included cocaine, ketamine, MDMA and cannabis was about £20,000, along with up to £5,000 in cash.

Atherton and Butler, who were in a relationship at the time of Mr Davies' death, spent some of the money on a car and watches before they were arrested by police two days later when they were tracked down at a Campanile hotel near Northampton, where they had attempted to dispose of some of the drugs by flushing them down a toilet.

Both were charged with acquiring, using and possessing criminal property, with Atherton also charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Atherton was sentenced to six years in prison, with his sentence taking a long history into account, as well as the breach of a suspended jail term for assault.

Butler received three months in prison, but was released having already spent about 200 days in custody on remand.

Mr Davies' killer, Field, who also admitted a charge of possessing criminal property, will be sentenced at a later date.

Sentencing the pair, who both had charges of murdering Mr Davies dropped in November, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC said Atherton and Butler were "deeply entrenched in drug culture".

The judge added that Atherton had "cynically took advantage" of the scene he discovered at the flat where "an extremely violent attack on the owner of the drugs and cash" had happened.

Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Robert Field admitted murdering Gus Davies on the first day of a scheduled six-week trial on Monday

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