DANIEL Shovelton has been found guilty of murdering Mark Bradbury.

READ MORE: Daniel Shovelton found GUILTY of murdering Mark Bradbury

This is the series of events that saw a distinguished army sergeant spiral into the drug abuse that, ultimately, led to him becoming a murderer – as well as a timeline of the complex police investigation that saw him convicted.

January 2013

Daniel Shovelton leaves the army after 15 years of service, during which he had reached the rank of sergeant.

He begins gambling online following his honourable discharge and develops a cocaine habit.

May 22 2019

Shovelton is sacked from his job as a courier with DPD for stealing a tablet computer, which he sold to Cash Converters ‘to buy drugs’.

The 40-year-old has been living with his parents on Saffron Close in Longbarn for around two years after falling behind with mortgage payments on his home on School Road in Orford.

A flat he previously rented out has also been repossessed, and he is more than £50,000 in debt.

July 30 2019

A cocaine dealer sends a series of texts pressuring Shovelton into repaying a drug debt.

His daughter transfers £7.30 into his bank account, the balance of which stands at £2.70.

Within 10 minutes he withdraws the £10 from the cash machine at Tesco Express on Manchester Road, then uses this money to buy whisky, crisps and scratch cards inside the store.

August 1 2019


Shovelton is captured on CCTV walking down Station Road South in Padgate, in the vicinity of Mark Bradbury’s home.

The pair have been friends for around 20 years, with Mr Bradbury having been a ‘small time’ cocaine dealer who sold drugs to his friends – including the defendant – in order to fund his own habit.

A 14-year-old girl sees Shovelton in the area and is ‘spooked’ by his ‘strange’ behaviour.


Shovelton is seen on camera walking away from the address.


CCTV captures Shovelton walking away from the direction of Mr Bradbury’s home again.

He is believed to have entered the area undetected by cameras via the pathway linking Station Road South and Carpenter Grove.


Mr Bradbury, 58, buys dog food and a drink from the same Tesco Express, which is his last recorded card transaction.


Shovelton drives his parents’ Kia Ceed towards Mr Bradbury’s flat, leaving 10 minutes later.


Mr Bradbury walks up Station Road North to meet his brother Lee.

He leaves his dog with Lee, with whom he shared the golden retriever, and walks home.


The ‘doting dad’, who worked as a man with a van after taking early retirement aged 55, buys 12 bottles of Heineken and a packet of Lambert and Butler cigarettes at the Bargain Booze in Orford.

This is the final time he is seen on camera.

Warrington Guardian:


A female customer visits Mr Bradbury’s home and buys two bags of cocaine from him for £40.

She is the last person to see him alive, other than his killer.


Mr Bradbury has a short conversation on the phone with a golfing friend, which is the last known ‘proof of life’.


Shovelton visits the area of Mr Bradbury’s home for a fourth time that day in his parents’ car.


Mr Bradbury’s phone is disconnected from the network.

When examined by police, it was found to have 65 per cent battery left – leading to the conclusion that it has ‘been turned off for a reason’.


The Kia Ceed is seen on camera travelling away from the property.


Shovelton visits Tesco Extra on Winwick Road in a change of clothes.

Warrington Guardian:

He spends around 15 minutes in the supermarket before paying in cash and leaving, then begins what he labelled his ‘magical mystery tour’ around Warrington.

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

It is during this time that he is believed to have been disposing of evidence in various locations.


Shovelton’s phone is recorded in the area of Chetham Court on Winwick Quay for a period of four minutes.

August 2 2019


Shovelton’s handset is tracked to the Grappenhall area.


He is now located in the area of Woolston Grange Avenue, then Hardwick Grange and Woolston Park.


Shovelton returns home.


Mr Bradbury has a dental appointment booked for this, but he does not attend.

He also fails to pick up Barny the dog from his brother as normal.


Shovelton exchanges €60 for £50 at the Asda supermarket in Birchwood Shopping Centre.

Shortly afterwards, he buys £27 of scratch cards and lottery tickets from Mukti’s Mini Supermarket in Longbarn.


The defendant ‘fobs his daughter off’, cancelling plans to meet that evening by text because he is ‘feeling a bit flat and probably not good to be around’.

He continues to receive texts from drug dealers demanding money, but is still attempting to arrange to buy cocaine from others.

August 3 2019

Shovelton checks the EuroMillions result on his phone in the afternoon.

He then makes ‘unusual checks’ on the Warrington Guardian website, which continue over the coming days.

August 4 2019

Shovelton picks his parents up from Manchester Airport in the early hours, the couple having been on holiday in Turkey.

Meanwhile, ‘real concerns’ are mounting over Mr Bradbury’s welfare.

Friend Paul Sewell attends his home at around 10pm, entering with Lee using a spare key.

The pair find Mr Bradbury dead in the living room and bedroom area of his bedsit.

August 5 2019

A Home Office pathologist carries out a post-mortem investigation and gives a cause of death of head and neck injuries.

August 6 2019

Shovelton reads an article confirming Mr Bradbury’s death on the Warrington Guardian website.

August 7 2019

Shovelton searches for detective inspector Sarah Oliver – the senior investigating officer in the case – on Google after quotes attributed to her are released to the media.

Warrington Guardian:

August 10 2019

Shovelton is spoken to by police for the first time in connection with Mr Bradbury’s death after detectives receive information that he was a customer of the deceased.

He tells officers that he had last seen Mr Bradbury in late June and was informed of his death by his mum on August 5.

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

August 13 2019

Shovelton searches for ’14 carat gold price UK’ on Google.

A gold ring belonging to Mr Bradbury, which he claimed he had been given by the deceased months earlier, is later found among his possessions.

Warrington Guardian:

September 5 2019

Shovelton is arrested on suspicion of murder during a dawn raid on his home.

Among the items seized from the address is the key to the Kia Ceed, which is found to contain traces of Mr Bradbury’s blood, and a packet of cigarettes matching the one bought by the deceased on the evening of his death.

Warrington Guardian:

The t-shirt and cap he was wearing during the trip to Tesco Express on July 30 2019 were not recovered.

March 24 2020

Shovelton is arrested for a second time and this time is charged with murdering Mr Bradbury after further interviews.

April 23 2020

Shovelton denies one count of murder during a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.

Warrington Guardian:

September 1 2020

A trial begins back at the same court.

September 17 2020

Shovelton is found guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to two after 11 hours and 23 minutes of deliberations.

Warrington Guardian: