London Colney man was ‘repeatedly bludgeoned round head with hammer’

A GANG of three people hatched a murderous plan to steal �30,000 they believed was in a London Colney man’s safe, a court has heard.

Danny Spires, 69, was driven to secluded woodland near Brookmans Park, having been assaulted in his own van.

Stuart Trimmer, prosecuting, told St Albans Crown Court Mr Spires was tied up with a rope and beaten by step-brothers Daniel Davies and Troy Shudlt, and Davies’ ex-girlfriend Samantha Smith, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

When he wouldn’t die, Mr Spires – described in court as an “aged rocker” – was repeatedly bludgeoned round the head with a hammer.

Opening the case for the prosecution today (Wednesday), Mr Trimmer told the jury the day after the murder, June 14 last year, Shuldt drove Spires’ van to Lincoln with his mobile phone in it.

It is alleged this was to cover their tracks, should Mr Spires’ mobile be traced.

Mr Spires’ decomposed body was discovered in the woods, off Bradmore Lane, on September 24 last year.

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The court heard that the trio were caught because they couldn’t keep quiet about the crime, having told a number of friends about what they had done.

Davies, 23, of Alma Road, St Albans, Shuldt, 19, of no fixed abode, and Smith, 21, of Alma Road, St Albans, all deny murder.

Smith has admitted two counts of assisting an offender, namely Shuldt, but denies a further two charges of assisting Davies.

Shuldt has pleaded guilty to obstructing a coroner – a charge both Davies and Smith deny – and perverting the course of justice.

The case continues.