Man accused of murdering Sam Mechelewski tells court “he was like my little brother”

Cambridge Crown Court. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Cambridge Crown Court. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

One of the men accused of murdering Sam Mechelewski said the Huntingdon man was ‘like a brother’ to him and that he ‘always had his back’.

Appearing at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday, Jordan Shepherd described how he had known Mr Mechelewski for five years and that the pair had been dealing drugs together, supplying cannabis in Huntingdon.

Shepherd, 24, of Mayfly Close, Chatteris, was charged with the murder of Mr Mechelewski alongside Ashley White, 21 of West End, Brampton. Both deny the charge.

The court heard how both Mr Mechelewski and Shepherd had decided to go into business together, as they wanted to sell larger quantities of cannabis and knew that if they joined forces they would be able to supply more.

Shepherd’s defence counsel, Richard Barraclough QC, asked the 24-year-old how he knew Mr Mechelewski, 20, from Huntingdon, and how long they had been friends.

Shepherd said: “I was introduced to Sam through friends about five years ago. I went with one of my friends and smoked a joint in a field, and he and his brother were there.

“Sam was selling cannabis already. [He] would come to me for advice on how to weigh and sell it.”

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Shepherd then told the court that he started dealing cannabis about six months after first meeting Mr Mechelewski.

Mr Barraclough asked Shepherd what his relationship with Mr Mechelewski had been like.

Shepherd said: “He was my friend, like my little brother. It got to a point that he couldn’t get access to more cannabis without anyone else, so we joined together.

“I was already doing something separately, but we decided to join our money together, to buy cannabis from another dealer.”

He went on to explain how he was earning more money than his business partner as he had separate clients to the ones he and Mr Mechelewski shared.

The court then heard Shepherd was earning about £3,000 a week from dealing drugs, while Mr Mechelewski was earning about £1,500 a week.

He also explained to the court how their business partnership worked.

He said: “I would divide it into ounces. I then would give Sam what he requested and then, once we had both sold the cannabis, we would come back and put the money together, take the money for the reload [buy more cannabis] and whatever was left split the profit.”

The court heard how police found £2,600 worth of shoes, £23,000 worth of clothes, and around £65,000 worth of electrical goods at Shepherd’s home in Chatteris after his arrest.

Mr Mechelewski had been living with Shepherd and his girlfriend Ciara Ratcliff for a about two years before the murder.

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

The case continues