Killer’s appeal bid is rejected

Mark Ball
Mark Ball

A killer who stabbed a defenceless victim to death in his own home has failed to convince top judges that police got the wrong man.

Mark Anthony Ball used a large kitchen knife to inflict four knife wounds on Marc Davis, 41, in the living room of his Blackpool flat.

The 27-year-old, of Buchanan Street, Blackpool, was jailed for life for murder at Preston Crown Court in February 2014.

He was ordered to serve at least 16 years and eight months behind bars before he could even apply for release on parole.

Ball, who has always maintained he is innocent, tried to challenge his conviction at London’s Criminal Appeal Court. He argued there was “fresh evidence” from two witnesses which supported his claim that someone else killed Mr Davis. The judge who originally jailed him had described him as having “no remorse” and said the evidence against him was “overwhelming,” stating the fact he couldn’t remember the event as being no defence.

Now, his appeal bid has been rejected by three senior judges, who said the evidence had been discussed at the trial and “cast no doubt” on the safety of his conviction.

The court heard Ball stabbed Mr Davis three times in the chest and once in the abdomen at his home in Alexandra Road, South Shore, in October 2012.

Ball had been drinking heavily in the hours before the murder and was heard saying: “I am going to do someone tonight”.

No motive for the killing has ever been uncovered.

At trial, Ball claimed he stabbed the victim to protect himself, but a witness described Mr Davis as a “placid man”, and jurors rejected that defence.

They also threw out claims that Ball’s responsibility for the crime was diminished because he was so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing. Ball’s appeal was dismissed by Lord Justice Hamblen, sitting with Mr Justice King and Judge John Bevan QC.

The judge said: “There are no grounds made out for the admission of this fresh evidence and no grounds for considering that the conviction was arguably unsafe.”