Horror of brutal Derbyshire caravan death revealed

A Derbyshire man died after receiving 38 separate injuries during a “brutal, pointless and motiveless” attack in his caravan, a trial has heard.

Andrew Jackson, 55, was violently assaulted and was ultimately killed by a stab wound to the leg during a savage assault, a jury was told today. (Tuesday, October 19)

Known affectionately to his small circle of friends as Cat Man, he lived what the prosecution called “an alternative lifestyle”.

And on the evening of the killing the man who is on trial for his murder told a witness he “intended to kill someone” that night, it is alleged.

Mr Jackson’s body was discovered at around 10am on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at an allotment, off Prospect Drive, Shirebrook.

Leon Smith, 28, of Alder Way, also in Shirebrook, denies a single count of murder.

Adrian Langdale QC, opening the case to the jury at Derby Crown Court said: “This case involves at its centre the brutal and seemingly pointless and motiveless murder of Andrew Jackson in the early hours of January 26, last year.

“People kill for love, people kill for money – such as a robbery gone wrong – and people kill for revenge.

“This killing was carried out by an attack which was very much on the spur of the moment.

“It was the complete opposite of a cold and calculated murder.”

Mr Langdale said at the time of Mr Jackson’s death Smith was staying at a property just 45m away in Prospect Drive.

He said a witness will tell the jury that on the night it happened the defendant – by his own admission an amphetamine and cocaine user – said he “intended to kill someone”.

He said: “The caravan where he (Mr Jackson) was attacked was set back from the road behind a gate.

“Ultimately only two people will have been there – Mr Jackson and his killer – who the Crown say is Leon Smith.

“In this case the killer left a tell-tale and unusual mark on the body.”

Mr Langdale said forensic analysis of an air rifle belonging to Smith was a match for what he called “a unique oval-shaped” injury on Mr Jackson’s upper arms showing he had been struck by it “at least three times”.

He said police carried out a comprehensive review of CCTV from around the area on the night of the killing.

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A police constable using a ram to batter down the door to the property

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Mr Langdale said it showed Smith going down an alleyway holding the air rifle over his shoulder close to the time of and location where Mr Jackson was attacked.

He said at the beginning of the inquiry the police interviewed Smith, who the prosecution say was known to the victim, first as a witness where he said he had “little recollection because he was high on amphetamine”.

Mr Langdale said on the morning of the alleged murder a neighbour discovered Mr Jackson’s caravan damaged with a side window “completely put through”.

He said: “Before the body had been found, Leon Smith walked past that damaged caravan on two separate occasions without telling the police about it.”

Mr Langdale said Mr Jackson’s body was found in the garden of a neighbouring allotment close to his caravan at 10.09am by an acquaintance who dialled 999.

The trial, which is expected to last a number of weeks, continues.

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