MURDER TRIAL: Suspected killer searched for his own name and word “murder” on the internet, jury told

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

The man accused of killing Giuseppe Miceli searched for his own name and the word “murder” on the internet shortly after the coin dealer was killed in his Northampton home, a court heard.

Mark Ellson, aged 41, is also said to have searched for terms including ‘best place to hit head’ and ‘how hard hit someone knock them out’ shortly before the attack on Mr Miceli last July, a jury at Northampton Crown Court was told.

Ellson, who denies murder, also visited the Chronicle & Echo’s website to see if there was a report about Mr Miceli’s death.

Mr Miceli, aged 71, died some time between 11.10am on Friday, July 12, 2013 and 12.30pm the following day, at his home in Bants Lane, Duston.

The jury at Ellson’s trial heard that Martin Gibbs, a computer forensic examiner from Northamptonshire Police, examined a laptop computer Ellson had been using, and discovered a number of words he had searched for in the days leading up to, and after, the time Mr Miceli died.

First, Ellson is said to have searched for ‘Miceli’ and ‘Bants Lane’ and then searched for details about collectible coins on auction site eBay, the court heard.

On another occasion, he is said to have searched for ‘best place to hit head’ and ‘Best place to hit head knock them out’, before searching for ‘how hard hit someone knock them out’, and then the same phrase with the words ‘back of head’ and ‘hammer’ as a suffix.

Then on July 13, Ellson is said to have made a number of searches on a public computer in a tourist information centre in Nottingham for his own name, ‘Northampton news headlines’ and ‘Murder Northampton’

On the morning of July 15, he is said to have made separate searches for ‘Giuseppe Miceli’ and ‘murder Northampton’, and also visited the Chronicle & Echo website to see if there were any details of the story.

There were not, as the report did not appear on the Chron’s website until later that day.

On another occasion, Ellson is said to have searched for ‘overdose drugs lethal amount’

Another witness, who knew Ellson when he lived in Wellingborough, described him as a “sponger” in a statement read earlier in the day.

Ellson knew the woman through a mutual friend and texted her regularly complaining that he was short of money, the court heard.

He told the woman he had been given a £700 fine for a motoring offence and needed to borrow £300 towards it, which she lent him.

She then lent him a further £150 when he said he had an “urgent bill” which needed paying. He only repaid £100 of the total amount, it was said.

The woman, who then broke off contact, said: “I’d had enough of his moaning about having no money. I did not want him sponging from me any more, so I deleted his number.”

The trial continues.