Wellingborough man denies murdering pensioner

Giuseppe Miceli, who was killed at his home in Bants Lane, Northampton, on July 13, 2013
Giuseppe Miceli, who was killed at his home in Bants Lane, Northampton, on July 13, 2013

A 71-year-old was killed in a vicious attack by a man from Wellingborough, a court has heard.

Prosecutors at Northampton Crown Court say coin dealer Giuseppe Miceli was attacked with a mallet or hammer in his own home by Mark Ellson, 41, who is currently of no fixed address.

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

Describing the cause of Mr Miceli’s death to the jury, prosecutor Christopher Donnellan QC said: “It’s likely he didn’t die immediately.

“There seems to have been a period of time where he tried to stem the flow of blood.”

Mr Miceli kept cash at home, and Mr Donnellan said: “The likely motive is that Mr Miceli was murdered by the defendant because the defendant needed money.

“Whatever his motive is, it’s clear that the defendant had planned an attack on Mr Miceli.”

Mr Donnellan said Mr Miceli’s attacker would have known that using a weapon, likely to have been a hammer or mallet, would cause really serious harm or kill.

He added: “Although Ellson may not have planned in advance to have killed Mr Miceli, when it came to that Friday afternoon, hitting him repeatedly over the head with this implement, there’s no doubt then that this defendant intended to kill.”

The prosecution said that on July 11 Ellson had searched on the internet for the phrase “best place to hit head knock them out” and “how hard hit someone knock them out back of head hammer”.

Mr Donnellan said: “Clearly he had made some sort of decision at this time.

“He was going to knock somebody unconscious.”

The prosecution said that after making those searches, Ellson called Mr Miceli from a phone box to arrange to meet him on a business pretext.

Prosecutors say he then killed the 71-year-old at a subsequent meeting.

Other less serious injuries sustained by Mr Miceli were consistent with him trying to defend himself from a blow.

His body was discovered by his brother just after midday on Saturday, July 13.

Meanwhile, Mr Ellson had travelled to Nottingham, where he carried out searches on a public computer for “Northampton news headlines” and “murder Northampton” as well as his own name.

Mr Donnellan said: “He knew what had happened, what he had done. He was now seeing whether anyone else knew what he had done, whether the news had leaked out.”

Giving evidence on Wednesday, Ellson’s landlady said she had noticed him acting differently on the day Mr Miceli died.

She told the jury that that day, for the first time during his stay there, he asked to use her washing machine, saying he was hot and sticky because of the high temperatures.

He also told her he had heard reports an elderly man had been murdered nearby.

The landlady told the court: “He bent towards me to catch my eye. He said ‘I spoke to a neighbour and she told me he had been bludgeoned to death’.

“I said that was unlikely because the police never give any information like that to anybody.”

Ellson denies murder. The trial continues.