Family of 20-year-old murder victim describe him as ‘caring and loving’

Sam Mechelewski when he was younger

Sam Mechelewski when he was younger - Credit: Archant

The family of the Sam Mechelewski, who was found dead in a wooded area of Hinchingbrooke Country Park on February 1 have described him a ‘gentle and caring’.

Jordan Shepherd, 24, and Ashley White, 21, lured Sam Mechelewski, to a secluded wooded area of the park, in Huntingdon, on 31 January 2018.

They stabbed him to the throat and neck and assaulted him with a baseball bat. Mechelewski’s body, which was later found to have more than 20 separate injuries, was discovered by a dog walker at 1.30pm the following day.

In a statement Sam’s family said: “Today justice has been done for our gentle, caring and loving Sam.

“Sam’s death has devastated our family; no words can even come close to describing the bleak void it has created. Fresh hurdles, challenges and grief present themselves every day. The loss we feel is unending.

“We will suffer for the rest of our lives because these two men valued his life so cheaply. At some point they will regain their freedom; but Sam will never be able to return to his family.”

The Detective in the trial has called the murder an ‘extraordinary crime’.

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Detective Chief Inspector Adam Gallop said the investigation was ‘very challenging’ after taking a year to reach a resolution.

He said: “This was quite an extraordinary crime, motivated by the cannabis market in Huntingdon, a vicious targeted attack for reasons that remain difficult to truly comprehend.

“Jordan Shepherd and Ashley White seemed to consider themselves gangsters, and I wonder if they really appreciated the reality and the seriousness of what they were doing.

“They are dangerous young men, with the proven propensity to commit significant and devastating acts of violence. In the process they have ruined their own lives.”

Shepherd, of Mayfly Close, Chatteris, and White, of West End, Brampton, admitted being in the area close to Hinchingbrooke Country Park with Sam, but blamed each other for the murder and denied individual involvement.

The duo were found guilty today (Monday) at Cambridge Crown Court.