Cousins killed their friend, 'chopped' him up and put his remains in suitcases, court hears

Ashley Walsh  - Murder Trial
Credit: MEN Media

Two cousins killed their friend, before 'chopping' him up and hiding his remains in a suitcase in a park, a court has been told.

Aaron Evitt, 33, and Gerard McGlacken, 45, are accused of murdering 34-year-old Ashley Walsh in Manchester.

Both men have already pleaded guilty to the prevention of a lawful burial but deny murder.

Manchester Crown Court heard Evitt, from Moston, told police he had 'flipped out' and hit Mr Walsh with a hammer after he had allegedly slept with his ex-girlfriend.

Prior to a police interview, Evitt said he wanted a further interview without a solicitor, and when asked why, he said: "Confess. I hit him with a hammer."

Mr Walsh was initially reported missing after his dog was seen roaming around Boggart Hole Clough in Blackley - the court heard he was 'inseparable' from the pet.

Both Evitt, and McGlacken, from Collyhurst, denied knowing where Mr Walsh was when questioned by police, but whilst in custody, Evitt later told an officer: "It’s gone on too long. You are going to need a van. I need to show you where he is."

Police found the remains of Mr Walsh’s body hidden in a number of suitcases under a pile of leaves and he was later identified by his fingerprints, jurors heard.

Michael Brady QC, prosecuting, said Mr Walsh had been living with his partner, her children and his beloved dog, Duke, with whom he was ‘besotted’.

On 7 January he went to McGlacken's house with his dog to meet him and Evitt, where the trio dank together.

He told his girlfriend to have tea without him. She never spoke to him again.

At around midnight Mr Walsh was allegedly hit to the head with a hammer and stabbed repeatedly with a Stanley knife, jurors heard.

When Mr Walsh failed to return home by 1am his partner messaged him but received no response.

The court was told that later Evitt called his sister and said he had "done something bad and that he had killed someone".

He added he "didn’t know what happened but he had killed someone".

Evitt later went round to her house, with Mr McGlacken, and as he went upstairs he began to cry 'uncontrollably' and asked his sister what to do.

When she told him to go to the police, he 'turned on her' and threatened to kill her, their mum and her children, it was said.

After reporting Mr Walsh missing, his sister called Evitt who initially 'lied' and denied seeing him.

But, in a later call he insisted he had seen him, that they got ‘absolutely bladdered’, that he had fallen asleep and woken up to find Mr Walsh and Duke had gone, the court heard.

Police were later informed of what Evitt had told his sister, and it was said she had been concerned about going to the police as she thought she would ‘get into trouble’, it was said.

Police arrested both Evitt and McGlacken on 14 January.

Days later, Mr Walsh's body was recovered in several pieces, hidden inside four suitcases in Sand Hills Park, Collyhurst.

Evidence seized from McGlacken’s house, and at the deposition site, included a bloodied fingerprint of McGlacken from a latex glove recovered with Mr Walsh’s body.

Mr Brady QC told the court: "[Evitt] said he hit Ashley because he told him that he had slept with Jennifer - Mr Evitt’s ex-partner.

"He said he had, 'flipped out, we had an argument, we had a fight, I hit him with a hammer'.

“He said he had not intended to kill him but that hitting someone to the head with a hammer would hurt.

"He went on to say that Ged (Mr McGlacken) was in the middle of them, they pushed Ged out of the way, Ashley had tried to go down the stairs and he had hit him with a hammer across the head.

"Mr Evitt added that he 'didn’t know how many times he struck him' and said he was ‘p****d and stoned and may have blacked out’.

"He said he woke up at four in the morning, noticed that Mr Walsh wasn’t there but that the dog was and when he asked Mr McGlacken about it, Ged told him that he, Mr Evitt, had killed Mr Walsh and that he, Mr McGlacken had ‘cut him up’ and said, “He’s in bags outside the door.”

Mr McGlacken, went on to ask a support worker: "How long do you get for murder?", and when she refused to answer, he asked: "Do you get longer if you’ve murdered someone and cut up their body?", the court heard.

He later told police that Mr Walsh and Mr Evitt came to his house where they all drank and said they all had a ‘good time’, but the following day between 10am and 12pm, Mr Evitt was asking where Mr Walsh was, it was said.

When asked whether he had played any part in dismembering Mr Walsh’s body, Mr McGlacken replied, “Not to my knowledge.”

A post mortem report found that Mr Walsh had severe head injuries, including a fracture to the skull, and six stab wounds to his torso, some of which were between 12 and 18cm deep, jurors were told.

Mr Walsh’s cause of death was recorded as multiple injuries.

Both Evitt, of Brentnor Road, Moston, and McGlacken, of Kintore Walk, Collyhurst deny murder.