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Last Updated:  Friday, 11 April, 2003, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Sentence due on farm murders
Elsie Davies was murdered at her farmhouse
Elsie Davies was murdered at her farmhouse
A man will appear in court on Friday to be sentenced for the double murder of his elderly employer and her friend at a farm in north Wales.

Martin Cartwright admitted the murders of 88-year-old Elsie Davies and Joseph Ashton, 82, at Mold Crown Court on Thursday.

Widowed Mrs Davies was stabbed and strangled at her home Tower Farm in Llangollen, where she had lived for 46 years.

Her body was found in an outhouse in the farm grounds.

Cartwright, who was 20 at the time of the attacks on 14 May 2002, then repeatedly stabbed Joseph Ashton in the kitchen.

Elsie Davies again began shouting at him so he took out the lock knife, walked behind her and stabbed her between the shoulder blades
John Lever, prosecuting
The court was told that Cartwright, originally from Wolverhampton, had been living and working at the farm for several weeks in return for free accommodation and food.

The prosecution said that on the day of the murders, Cartwright bought a lock knife from a stall in Llangollen and returned to Tower Farm.

He confronted the 88-year-old in a cow shed and stabbed her twice in the neck.

He then strangled her and covered her body with silage before entering the farmhouse where he saw Joseph Ashton, who was staying at the farm.

Escape

He stabbed and slashed Mr Ashton, of Warrington, Cheshire, 18 times.

Joseph Ashton
Joseph Ashton was killed by Cartwright
Cartwright then stole cash from the house and escaped in Mr Ashton's red Skoda Felicia.

He was later arrested in his home town of Wolverhampton.

John Lever, prosecuting, said the killings took place between 1740 GMT and 1900 GMT on 14 May.

He said: "The only account of what happened is that provided by the defendant himself.

"He said Elsie Davies again began shouting at him so he took out the lock knife, walked behind her and stabbed her between the shoulder blades.

"He said she began screaming for help so he put his hand over her mouth and effectively strangled her."

Mr Lever continued: "He went to the farmhouse. The defendant said Joe Ashton had asked him where Elsie Davies was.

"He walked behind Joe Ashton, again he pulled out the knife and he stabbed him a number of times.

Martin Cartright admitted the murders
Martin Cartright admitted the murders
"The defendant admitted that Mr Ashton had tried to fight back and that had made him angry."

Police later arrived and entered the kitchen to find Mr Ashton's body in the blood-spattered kitchen.

An officer found Mrs Davies's body hours later in the cow shed when he moved the silage and hay that Cartwright had used to hide her body.

After hearing the prosecution case, the defence asked for an adjournment before opening mitigation on Friday, after which Cartwright is expected to be sentenced.




SEE ALSO:
Man in court over farm murders
29 May 02  |  Wales
Man remanded over double deaths
17 May 02  |  Wales
Man's body found on farm
15 May 02  |  Wales



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