The former Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Hewart, once said “justice must be not only be done, but must also be seen to be done” – outlining one of the main reasons that news outlets cover court cases.
Our reporters attend the county’s criminal courts – as well as its coroners’ courts – every day; reporting on cases from across Derbyshire in order to show justice being done and to shine a spotlight on the lessons that can be learned from a person’s death.
We have been your eyes and ears in court as some of the county’s most reprehensible offenders have been jailed for their heinous crimes.
And here are nine of the worst cases from the past decade.
Our thoughts continue to be with the victims’ loved ones.
1. Shocking murder of Chesterfield pensioner fed to the badgers by killer
Earlier this month, Chesterfield murderer Daniel Walsh sentenced to serve at least 27 years in prison for killing and dismembering 71-year-old Graham Snell at his Marsden Street home in June last year. As he sent Walsh to prison, Judge Shant said: “Having gruesomely cut Mr Snell up in pieces you took a taxi to a badger set which you were previously aware of and dug up many holes in which you deposited different parts of him in the hope no doubt that he would be eaten by the badgers." Walsh was found guilty following a trial at Derby Crown Court in December 2020. Photo: Derbyshire Police
2. Mum of five was murdered by her partner
Last month marked the second anniversary of the death of Keely McGrath who was killed by her partner Anthony Davis, who beat her to death in their South Normanton home on December 13, 2018. Davis of Alfred Street, South Normanton, was found guilty by a jury and jailed for life, with a minimum of 24 years, in July 2019. Keely’s parents Claire and Martin sadly only learnt the full extent of the coercive and controlling behaviour and physical abuse she had endured after her murder. Photo: Derbyshire Police
3. Dad and sons killed three in Langley Mill fire deaths
Amy Smith, 17, her six-and-a-half-month-old daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt and friend Edward Green, 17, from Belper, all died when a fire broke out at Amy’s flat on North Street, Langley Mill in June 2015. Amy’s partner, Shaun Gaunt and his friend, Joshua Holt, were rescued from the flat. Peter Eyre (centre) of Sandiacre, and his sons Simon (left) of Long Eaton, and Anthony (right) of Sandiacre, were found guilty of murder after a four-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court. Photo: Derbyshire Police
4. Horrific knife attack that killed one and left another fighting for his life
Santino Giovanni Genovese, 24, of Charlotte Street, Ilkeston, admitted the attempted murder of Jason Goodacre and manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of Paul Averill. He was jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court on November 4 2015 and was ordered to serve at least 13-and-a-half years behind bars before he could even apply for parole. On September 10 2014, Mr Goodacre went to his friend Genovese’s home, where Mr Averill, 30, was a lodger. The following morning he armed himself with an eight-inch knife and stabbed Mr Goodacre - who had fallen asleep on the sofa - nine times and left him for dead. He then headed upstairs to Mr Averill’s bedroom. He knifed him repeatedly, penetrating his left lung which led to ‘internal bleeding’ and death. Photo: Derbyshire Police