DANIEL Shovelton has been found GUILTY of the murder of Mark Bradbury.

The former army sergeant, of Saffron Close in Longbarn, was convicted by majority verdict by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court this afternoon, Thursday.

Warrington Guardian:

Members of the jury spent two days deliberating the case after hearing evidence during the three-week trial.

They found the defendant guilty by a majority of 10 to two after 11 hours and 23 minutes.

Shovelton stared at the floor as the verdict was delivered.

He will now be sentenced back at the same court on Monday morning.

Judge David Aubrey said: "Daniel Shovelton, you have been convicted by jury of murder.

"There is only one sentence to be passed by law - a sentence of life imprisonment."

READ MORE: The web of lies spun by army sergeant as he tried to get away with murder

Addressing the jury, he added: "It is always a difficult task as members of a jury, especially which an offence like this - a crime of murder.

"I would like to thank you for the way that you have conducted yourself throughout the trial and at a time of difficult circumstances being in."

The court heard over the past few weeks how 40-year-old Shovelton ‘battered to death’ his victim in his own home in Station Road South, Padgate, on August 1 last year.

‘Doting’ dad Mr Bradbury was described a ‘small time’ drug dealer who sold cocaine to his friends, including Shovelton, to fund his own habit.

Jurors were told that Shovelton, who had been friends with Mr Bradbury for 20 years, was ‘desperate’ for money and drugs and saw the deceased as the ‘answer to his problems’.

READ MORE: The events which led to the senseless and brutal killing of a doting dad

Mr Bradbury's daughter Hannah said after the conviction: "Thank you to everyone who has shown support, and to the incredible Cheshire Police over the past 13 months.

"This has been the longest road for justice for my dad, who did not deserve to be taken from us in the most brutal way.

"This experience will never be forgotten by so many, and in that I hope my dad’s memory will live on in happiness and love."

Warrington Guardian:

Hanna Bradbury and detective inspector Sarah Oliver

The defendant 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.

Detective inspector Sarah Oliver, of Cheshire Police's major investigation team, said after the verdict was delivered: "Mark was a much loved father and his loss is still keenly felt by his daughter Hannah.

"My thoughts are with her and her family.

"I hope the conviction of Shovelton helps Hannah and all those who knew Mark to continue to come to terms with what happened.

"Shovelton has never shown any remorse for his actions and continues to avoid responsibility for the hurt he has caused.

"He has shown himself to be an utterly selfish man who put his own need for cash and cocaine above all else - he saw Mark as someone who he could take both – with devastating consequences.

"This case demonstrates the impact drug and gambling addiction can have and I would urge anybody with an addiction to seek help.”

READ MORE: Watch the moment murderer shops in supermarket hours after battering man to death

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane added: "This crime shocked the local community and deeply saddened all those who knew Mark.

"My thoughts are with Mark’s daughter Hannah and his family and friends.

"I hope this conviction gives them some form of comfort in that justice has now been served."