Two men guilty of murdering man in Salford homeless camp


Two men have today been found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of murdering a 23 year old man in a homeless camp in a disused railway arch on Trinity Way in Salford on 19th January 2016.

Luke Benson and Adam Acton killed Daniel Smith before setting fire to his body.  Emergency services were called after flames and smoke were seen in the camp.

Adam Acton pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice for removing and concealing Daniel's SIM card.  Amanda Briggs and Connor Cain also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing for their role in removing, damaging and concealing items belonging to Daniel.

Gail O'Brien, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: "Luke Benson and Adam Acton carried out a brutal and sustained attack on Daniel Smith, a fellow homeless man, after he had accidentally urinated on bedding within the camp. They then attempted to dispose of his body by setting fire to him.

"Daniel Smith stood no chance of defending himself against the level of violence inflicted upon him that night. Their attack was utterly disproportionate to the disagreement they had had with him. They also attempted to cover their tracks by taking Daniel's belongings from him, destroyed them and hiding them from the police.

"This was a challenging case for the police to piece together during their investigation and for the prosecution to present before the court as there were many comings and goings in the campsite during the course of the evening.  The two men plus two others also attempted to pervert the course of justice by changing his clothes, damaging his belongings and hiding them from the police and finally conspiring to dispose of his body by setting fire to him.  However after carefully considering all the evidence against Luke Benson and Adam Acton, the jury have today found them both guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice.

"Both men have shown no remorse throughout the case and continued to deny all responsibility for the murder and what followed afterwards, but today they must face up to the consequences of their actions.

"The Crown Prosecution Service and police will continue to work together to bring to justice those who take the law into their own hands and commit such offences."