Murder Trial: Attacker guilty of murdering Northampton coin dealer with mallet

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

A man who attacked a Northampton coin dealer with a mallet has been found guilty of his murder.

After a two-week trial at Northampton Crown Court, the jury took two hours to convict Mark Ellson of murdering Northampton pensioner Giuseppe Miceli and returned their verdict this morning.

Ellson, aged 41, formerly of Wellingborough admitted striking the blows with a mallet which led to the death of coin dealer Mr Miceli, aged 71, at his home in Bants Lane, Duston on July 12 last year.

There were cheers from Mr Miceli’s family when the verdict was read out and a cry of “Thank you”.

Ellson, who showed no emotion upon hearing the verdict, had claimed he was only guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, as he had only intended to daze Mr Miceli, and not kill him, or cause him serious harm.

Pathologists found Mr Miceli had a total of 18 injuries, and had been struck to the head on at least five occasions. One blow fractured his skull.

The court also heard the full transcript of Ellson’s police interview, in which he lied throughout, claiming to have nothing to do with Mr Miceli’s death.

He only admitted his involvement for the first time when he took to the witness stand on Tuesday.

Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, said Ellson’s motivation for the attack was that he needed money, as he had a number of debts.

He said the attack was planned, as Ellson had searched on the internet for phrases including “best place to hit head knock them out” and “how hard hit someone knock them out back of head hammer”.

He went to Mr Miceli’s house on a number of occasions to discuss the sale of his Royal Navy medals, and struck the fatal blows on one, or possibly two, of the visits.

Mr Donnellan said Ellson would have known that using a weapon would cause really serious harm or kill, but William Harbage QC, defending, said the use of a mallet was not consistent with this, and his client was only guilty of manslaughter.

Judge Rupert Mayo will now progress to sentencing. The only sentence available to him for murder is mandatory life imprisonment.