Cover up claims in murder case

Sasha Marsden pictured on her Facebook profile
Sasha Marsden pictured on her Facebook profile
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A hotel barman accused of stabbing a student 58 times, told police he had sexual contact with her after she “pounced” on him at the hotel, a jury heard.

David Minto, 22, is alleged to have stabbed 16-year-old Sasha Marsden in the head, face and neck at the Grafton House Hotel in South Shore after luring her over Facebook with the promise of a job.

Preston Crown Court heard Minto, who lived at the hotel with his girlfriend was arrested on suspicion of murder just hours after the body of the Staining teenager was discovered.

On his clothes, confiscated by police, scientists discovered Sasha’s blood and DNA profile, prosecutors said.

The court heard the Blackpool and The Fylde College student’s body, which was set on fire after she died, was identified by her possessions and DNA.

Minto’s motive for the murder had been clearly “sexual”, prosecutors said.

The jury, made up of nine women and three men were told Minto was questioned by police for three days before he was charged.

He largely answered “no comment” to any questions put to him.

Assisted by a solicitor and an appropriate adult, the court heard Minto gave a pre-prepared statement at the end of the interview.

Peter Wright, prosecuting, said: “He admitted he knew Sasha and she had come to the hotel on January 31 around 3.45pm for a cleaning job. He said he showed her what to do and then he went to the toilet.

“He then admitted sexual contact had happened and claimed Sasha had pounced on him.

“He said at some point after their contact Sasha continued cleaning and had a severe nose bleed and he had got her tissues.

“He said she was being picked up at Wyndsors, so he walked her to shop but her dad wasn’t there. He said she told him not to wait and he went home.”

Prosecutors said that at 10.30pm on the day Sasha died the defendant’s girlfriend looked on Facebook and saw he had posted a comment referring to the police being at the hotel.

The jury was told when his girlfriend went to find him, Minto had locked himself in the bathroom in what they say was a bid to rid the hotel of any evidence.

When police searched the bathroom they discovered someone had tried to flush Sasha’s jewellery and earrings down the toilet and her DNA was found in the bath.

A bin bag containing Sasha’s clothing, mobile phone and purse was also discovered in an exterior wheelie bin in the hotel’s yard.

A mannequin depicting Sasha’s injuries was shown to the court as was the suspected murder weapon a 21cm long single edge kitchen knife.

Giving evidence, pathologist Dr Alison Armer told the court Sasha had valiantly tried to defend herself and many of her injuries were defence wounds.

She gave the official cause of death as multiple stab wounds leading to massive blood loss.


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