THE jury in the trial of Daniel Shovelton has been sent home after its first day of deliberations.

No verdict has yet been reached on the murder charge that the 40-year-old, of Saffron Close in Longbarn, faces.

A former army sergeant, he is accused of murdering his friend of 20 years Mark Bradbury at his home on Station Road South in Padgate in summer last year.

‘Doting’ dad Mr Bradbury was ‘battered to death’ at the age of 58 on August 1 2019.

The jury during two weeks of evidence heard that he was a ‘small time’ drug dealer who sold cocaine to his friends, including Shovelton, in order to fund his own habit.

It is alleged that the defendant was ‘desperate’ for money and drugs and saw the deceased as the ‘answer to his problems’.

Shovelton had racked up debts of more than £50,000 and was living back at home with his parents after falling behind on mortgage payments on his former house on School Road in Orford.

A flat he rented out had also been repossessed.

Deliberations will continue for a second day at Liverpool Crown Court tomorrow, Thursday.