A 24-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering 31-year-old Gavin Singleton from Hillsborough.
Danny Trotter of no-fixed-address, has been on trial at Sheffield Crown Court since Monday 4 March charged with murder, Section 20 Wounding and Section 18 Assault.
Today, Wednesday 13 March a jury found him guilty of murder following a six-day trial and an hour of deliberation. He was also found guilty of Section 20 Wounding which related to the stabbing of Scott Fauvel. He was found not guilty of Section 18 Assault.
The court heard how, on Sunday 23 September 2018 the Yorkshire Ambulance Service received a 999 call from a member of the public saying that two men had been stabbed on Walkley Lane, Sheffield. On arrival, paramedics found Mr Singleton to be in a critical condition. Members of the public were performing CPR on him. He had sustained three stab wounds, one to the chest and two to his right leg.
Officers who were first at the scene were quick to check CCTV footage from a pub close to the scene of the incident and identified several witnesses and the suspect, Danny Trotter.
At around 4.40am that morning officers arrested Trotter.
Speaking after the hearing Detective Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore said: “Gavin Singleton started the evening with a group of friends before travelling to Hillsborough to continue their night.
“He arranged to meet Danny Trotter using a friend’s phone and the two men were seen on CCTV a number of times in and around the Rawson Spring pub between around 11.53 pm and 12.02am when an altercation between the two men took place on Walkley Lane.
“Trotter was seen to lunge at his victim several times and then walk away back to the Rawson Spring and, at 12.04am he left towards Rudyard Road.
“Mr Singleton also walked away up Walkley Lane towards his waiting friends and then collapsed.
“Members of the public who were passing then attempted to help Mr Singleton by administering first aid. As this happened a man fitting the description of Trotter was seen to walk past the group, look at what was happening, and continue walking.
“Paramedics arrived at 12.15am and treated Mr Singleton at the scene. He was then taken to the Northern General hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, at the time his injuries were described as life threatening.
“Sadly, on 1 October 2018 the decision was made to withdraw life support, and five days later on 6 October 2018 Mr Singleton died.”
When interviewed, Trotter was asked if he was there when Mr Singleton was stabbed, which he denied. He was then asked if he knew anything about the stabbing, which he denied knowing anything about until he got a phone call.
However, as the investigation continued it became clear that this was not the case. From witness statements gathered, the court heard how Trotter sent a message to his sister implying that something had happened and he was now in trouble. He was described as ‘freaking out’ and said that he had stabbed two people who had ‘jumped him’. He also said that he had been carrying a knife because he was paranoid about people who were ‘after him’.
Other witnesses reported hearing a conversation between three women who clearly knew Trotter. They had received a text message from him implying that he was scared following something that had happened that evening.
DCI Ashmore continued: “Mr Singleton and Danny Trotter had, in Trotter’s own words, ‘known each other for years’ and were friends. On the night Mr Singleton was critically injured, events had spiralled out of control. Trotter has since said he was acting in self-defence during the altercation, which is said to have been a dispute over money.
“The fact that Trotter tried to do all he could to avoid taking responsibility for taking Mr Singleton’s life says so much about him as a person. What amounts to a petty dispute over a relatively small sum of money has resulted in a man losing his life.
“A knife crime doesn’t just affect the person stabbed, it also impacts on the lives of friends and family, and the person who carried out the attack. I urge anyone who is considering carrying a knife to think long and hard about the consequences of what they’re doing.
“Today’s verdict reflects the severity of the crime Trotter committed and he now has time to consider the decisions he made.”
Sentencing will take place at 2pm tomorrow at Sheffield Crown Court.