Accused admits he dumped Sasha’s body

The Grafton House Hotel, where the body of Sasha Marsden was discovered in an alleyway.

The Grafton House Hotel, where the body of Sasha Marsden was discovered in an alleyway.

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A man has accepted dumping the body of 16-year-old Sasha Marsden in a Blackpool alleyway – but has denied being responsible for her murder, a court has heard.

David Minto, 22, claimed to a jury that he had earlier had consensual sex with the teenager at the Grafton House hotel, in Kirkby Road, South Shore, where he worked, before they parted company.

He was then ‘shocked and scared’ to discover her body in the hallway of the hotel.

He accepted trying to clean up blood on the premises and then when “not thinking” he decided to move her body out of the building, wrapping it in a roll of carpet and a duvet cover before taking it to an alleyway.

Minto has been giving evidence in his Preston Crown Court trial where he denies murder.

He said he had previously told Sasha there was a possibility of a cleaning job when the season started and that there would be a trial run to start with.

He showed her cleaning tasks on one day and then she returned on a second occasion. The defendant claimed that on that second occasion, Sasha had pushed him to the floor and they had gone on to have consensual sex.

Afterwards she went back to doing cleaning. There came a point when he heard her yell, while he was putting some rubbish out, and saw she was having a nose bleed. He gave her gloves to try and slow the bleeding down.

Later they left the hotel and he intended walking her to a shoe shop, but in an alleyway she said she was fine to go ahead and so he went back.

After returning to the hotel, where a back door was open, he started cleaning and later on saw a body face down in the hallway. This was more or less at the point where the nose bleed had occurred, the court heard. He went on to recognise that it was Sasha.

“She was covered in blood. She was cut to the neck, cut to the arms, her hair looked red,” he told the court. “I checked for a pulse on her neck.”

“The only thought that kept coming into my head was getting rid of the blood. I have a thing about blood, I don’t like it, not a phobia, but a queaziness about blood.”

Minto decided to move her body out of the building, rolled her in a carpet and then placed her inside a duvet cover, the court heard.

A wheelie bin was used to move the body to an alleyway where he left it. He insisted he did not set fire to the body.

There came a time when he spotted some smoke, while having a cigarette at the back door, the court heard. Someone said youths must have set a mannequin on fire. He went on to realise that it was in fact Sasha’s body.

His counsel, Stuart Denney, asked him if he had had any contact with her, other than consensual, whether he had harmed or killed Sasha. He responded “No”. Finally, Mr Denney asked him “Are you the person who murdered Sasha Marsden?” “No”, replied the defendant.

At the start of cross examination, Peter Wright, prosecuting, suggested that Minto had told a pack of lies.

During later questioning, Minto said: “I don’t know how she ended up face down in that hallway”. He denied repeatedly stabbing and slashing at her with a knife from the kitchen.

The defendant said he had been scared that if he phoned the police they would immediately assume that was responsible.

(Proceeding)

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