Sam Mechelewski Murder Trial: Accused disposed of man’s belongings days after murder

Cambridge Crown Court

Cambridge Crown Court - Credit: Archant

One of the men accused of murdering Sam Mechelewski in Hinchingbrooke Country Park disposed of his belongings following his death, a court heard.

Detective Constable Colin Richardson, of Cambridgeshire police, told Cambridge Crown Court that Jordan Shepherd and his girlfriend, Ciara Ratcliff, dumped Mr Mechelewski’s mattress at the side of a road, days after the murder.

He also told the court that police found Mr Mechelewski’s birth certificate in a bin outside the property that Ratcliff rented in Chatteris.

Ratcliff denies a charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to the incident.

The 21-year-old, of Sycamore Drive, Huntingdon, told police in her first statement that she had spent the night of the murder (January 31) with Shepherd at her father’s house in Huntingdon.

However, the court was told that Ratcliff later admitted she had lied to the police, and wasn’t with Shepherd that evening.

Jordan Shepherd, 23, of Mayfly Close, Chatteris, and Ashley White, 20, of West End, Brampton, are both on trial for the murder of Mr Mechelewski. Both have denied the charge.

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As the trial continued on December 13, the court heard that Shepherd decided to give all of Mr Mechelewski’s belongings to a friend, so they could be returned to his family following his death.

However, once the items were returned to the family, police were contacted.

Prosecuting, Richard Christie asked DC Richardson whether Ratcliff told the police that Mr Mechelewski had been living at the address in Chatteris with her and Shepherd at the time of his murder.

Mr Richardson said: “Miss Ratcliff told us that [Mr Mechelewski] had no connection to Chatteris and that he lived at another address in Huntingdon with one of his friends.”

The court heard that police searched the property in Mayfly Close twice, once on February 6 and again on February 13.

An empty knife box was recovered on the first search on February 6.

DC Richardson told the court that he hadn’t told officers about the post-mortem results at the time of the first search, which concluded that Mr Mechelewski, 20, was struck around the head with a baseball bat and stabbed with a knife.

However, on a second search of the house, on February 13, DC Richardson said officers had been made aware of the post-mortem results and two baseball bats were recovered.

He said: “We went to the property and [Ratcliff] indicated that the two baseball bats were in the cupboard under the stairs. She said very little about them.”

The court was told the bats had been bought by Mr Mechelweski and Shepherd several months prior to the murder from a branch of Sports Direct, in Cambridge.