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Man cleared of murder of Widnes dad walks free from court
A MAN accused of the ‘cold-blooded ruthless execution’ of a Widnes dad walked free from court today.
Michael Eves, aged 25, was cleared of the murder of 30-year-old Wayne Basnett, of Mayfield Avenue, Hough Green.
The dad-of-three was shot in the head in Pepper Street, Hale Village, shortly after midnight on December 22, 2010.
A jury at Chester Crown Court found him not guilty two weeks ago, after a six-week trial, but reporting restrictions have been in place pending today’s hearing.
The jury of seven women and five men, who spent seven days deliberating, could not reach a verdict on an alternative charge of manslaughter.
They also failed to agree on a charge of wounding with intent involving the stabbing of former Liverpool RC Academy player, James Ellison, and the attempted murder of Mr Basnett’s close friend, David Garrett, aged 27, who suffered multiple stab wounds.
Both men were attacked in the Newz Bar in Liverpool on October 3, 2010.
The jury remained hung on alternative charges of wounding with intent.
Dad-of -two Eves, of East Damwood Road, Speke, was found guilty of common assault on Mr Basnett’s girlfriend, Kimberley McMahon, at The Grenadier pub in Halewood. She was punched in the face on December 4, 2010.
Mr Ian Unsworth, prosecuting, said, after consulting with senior police officers and senior law advisers, a re-trial on a charge of manslaughter has now been ruled out.
He said: “On advice, it is unrealistic to proceed to yet another trial.
“Eves has been in custody for a considerable time and before three juries.”
Judge Elgin Edwards said: “A re-trial would be untenable in the light of the verdicts we’ve got.There is no realistic prospect of conviction on the evidence.”
He sentenced Eves to six months for assaulting Ms McMahon but said he was free to go as he had already served 18 months in custody on remand.
Judge Edwards commended both legal teams.
He said: “This was a complex case. It was well presented by all involved.
“The police dealt with this difficult case with extreme efficiency during the six week trial. The evidence was very well researched and very well presented.”
He thanked the defence team, led by Stephen Riordan, for the amount of assistance they had provided.
Eves will be released from Walton Prison today.