Prosecutors at Liverpool Crown Court this week said Daniel Shovelton murdered 58 year old Mark Bradbury for cash and drugs in August last year.
Family of Bradbury found him dead at home in Warrington on August 4th 2019.
The authorities allege Mr Bradbury was brutally killed by Shovelton.
The former Army sergeant, 40, who served between 1998 and 2013 admitted spending up to £1,000 a month on drugs and had been sacked from his job as a courier with DPD and was back living with his parents.
Despite being labelled a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘doting father’ the investigation team discovered Bradbury was a small time drug dealer who had been known Shovelton for around 20 years.
He was also last seen alive by a woman customer who bought two bags of cocaine off of him at his property in Station Road South in Padgate, Warrington.
Shovelton was arrested after CCTV evidence showed him go to Bradbury’s property four times on the day he died.
Shovelton was one of Mark’s customers and regularly bought cocaine from him to feed his desperate and expensive addiction.
The 40-year-old was in need of money and drugs at the time of Bradbury’s murder – he was around £53,000 in debt to drug dealers, his family and to businesses, as well as having the £1,000-a-month cocaine habit.
After killing Bradbury, Shovelton was seen on numerous CCTV buying scratch cards and spending money on alcohol at Tescos.
Shovelton denied murder but after a twelve day trial he was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court.
He shook his head then slumped down in the dock whilst Bradbury’s family members consoled the victim’s daughter Hannah.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, said Shovelton of Saffron Close, Longbarn, Warrington, will be sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday morning, when he will have to set the minimum term he serves behind bars.
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