Sam Mechelewski Murder Trial: Accused seemed ‘normal’ just hours after murder

Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Hinchingbrooke Country Park - Credit: Archant

A man accused of murdering Sam Mechelewski in a Huntingdon park checked into a hotel just hours after the death is believed to have occurred, a court heard.

At Cambridge Crown Court today (Monday), Petronela Preda described how she and Ashley White booked into the Marriot Hotel, in Huntingdon, just hours after Mr Mechelewski is believed to have been killed in Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

Contact between Miss Preda and White had been made through text messages and phone calls on the day of Sam’s death (January 31).

Prosecuting, Richard Christie, showed the jury the text messages between Miss Preda and White in which she had asked for him to meet up with her.

She told the court: “I had been texting him that night but he said that he couldn’t meet me, and I wanted to meet him. I just kept texting him until he did.”

The court then heard how the pair finally met up at about 11pm, and booked a room at the hotel via The pair then took a taxi to the hotel where they spent the night together.

The court was shown CCTV of the two arriving at the hotel, to find out that there was an issue with their booking, which meant they had to re-book.

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The jury heard how the pair finally arrived at their room at about 12.30am.

White, 20, of West End, in Brampton, is jointly accused of the murder with Jordan Shepherd, 23, of Mayfly Close, in Chatteris. Both have denied the charge.

Under cross examination by Richard Barraclough, acting on behalf of Shepherd, and Alastair Malcom, acting on behalf of White, Miss Preda was asked about White’s behaviour that evening. She said that he seemed normal, and happy to see her.

She said: “He seemed happy to see me, he was normal and nice that evening. He did seem a tiny bit ‘away’ but it was nothing out of the normal.”

Ciara Ratcliffe, 21, of Sycamore Drive, Huntingdon, has denied a charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to the case.

The trial continues.