Date: 20 Dec 2004
Courtney Davies was found dead in the Forest of Dean just off of the A4136 Cinderford to Monmouth road. on 20 December 2004.
He had been stabbed 70 times and then set on fire.
The police said that his body had been dumped there less than 24-hours before it was found. His body was found by a forestry worker hidden in undergrowth.
A deaf and mute man was charged with his murder in January 2005 but the charges against him were later dropped in April 2006 when no evidence was offered. The solicitor said that the man had been fitted up by the police.
He was arrested after the police found a cigarette butt near the scene that they traced to him through his DNA which they had on record from a previous offence of criminal assault that he had been convicted for.
Courtney Davies had been convicted for a violent robbery at a businessman's home in south Wales in 1986 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, serving 8, and then later convicted of another armed robbery. It was said that he would often tell the man that was charged with his murder stories about his criminal activities which were said to have impressed him. During the first robbery, it was said that Courtney Davies had pulled out an electrical cord and used the bare end to threaten to electrocute the 22-year-old daughter of the man that he was robbing. During the second robbery two guard dogs were shot dead and Courtney Davies had tried to superglue one of the victim’s heads to the floor.
He was later charged in connection with in the seizure of £60k worth of heroin. It was said that whilst in prison he used to trade in on his notoriety and that he would walk around like a gangster and that no one would mess with him because they didn't know what he would do.
The man that had been charged with his murder had been an acquaintance of Courtney Davies's wife for some years and it was said that Courtney Davies liked to keep him around so that he could get lifts and have him do odd jobs around his house. The man had a qualification in carpentry and Courtney Davies had had him make some security gates for his baby around the house. The man’s solicitor said that Courtney Davies liked to keep the man around as he was deaf and mute and couldn't hear any of the telephone calls that he made or tell anyone about what he had seen. His solicitor claimed that the man wouldn't hurt a fly whilst Courtney Davies was a horrible piece of work and reflected that their relationship was an unlikely one.
It was heard that on the day that Courtney Davies was murdered, Courtney Davies had asked the man to give him a lift to Gloucester and that whilst driving through the Forest of Dean near Staunton Courtney Davies had asked the man to pull up in a layby. The man said that when they pulled up Courtney Davies put on some surgical gloves and then got out and showed him a sawn-off shotgun and a load of money. The man said that Courtney Davies then told him to drive off for 45 minutes and then to come back for him.
The man said that he drove off and that when he returned he saw an orange glow ahead of him in the trees that he thought was a log fire but that when he got closer to have a look he said he saw that it was Courtney Davies on fire. He said that while he had been waiting for Courtney Davies he had seen two people drive by on a motorbike and thought that they had done it. He said that he then drove back home to Cardiff and didn't tell anyone. However, he was later arrested when police traced a cigarette butt to him.
Whilst the man was on bail his solicitor said that she read through 8000 pages of unused evidence and found that the police had arrested another man for the murder in the month before they arrested her client and that after his arrest they had still been arresting people.
She said that the evidence indicated that there were a massive number of suspects in the case and that Courtney Davies had owed a lot of money to some very heavy people.
It was said that the fact that Courtney Davies had been stabbed 70 times indicated that someone had either been very angry with him or that they had wanted to be sure that the job had been done properly.