GUILTY: ‘Cold, dangerous and evil’ Aylesbury man who murdered former landlord using crossbow

Russell Gill and, below, Darrell Farnham
Russell Gill and, below, Darrell Farnham

An ‘extremely dangerous’ Aylesbury man has today been found guilty of murdering his former landlord by shooting him through the heart with a crossbow.

Russell Gill, 42, shot Mr Farnham on the doorstep of the victim’s Belgrave Road home on June 23 this year.

Darrell Farnham

Darrell Farnham

Gill, of Lavender Walk, went round to 44-year-old Mr Farnham’s home armed with the crossbow and a Samurai sword.

The jury at Reading Crown Court heard how the pair argued before Gill shot Mr Farnham at point-blank range.

Gill admitted manslaughter but claimed the death of Mr Farnham was a ‘dreadful accident’.

During the trial, it was alleged Gill killed Mr Farnham over a £6,000 drug debt he owed the victim.

Police at murder scene in Belgrave Road, Aylesbury

Police at murder scene in Belgrave Road, Aylesbury

After an eight-day trial, jurors found Gill guilty of one count of murder.

Following the conviction, Mr Farnham’s family said they were ‘satisfied with the verdict of murder and that justice has been carried out’.

The family said in a statement: “Gill is a cold, dangerous and evil man, who killed Darrell in his own home with calculation and precision, providing no opportunity for self defence.

“Gill has shown no remorse or sadness for this terrible act but attempted throughout the trial to justify his actions and destroy the reputation of Darrell and thus causing further distress to Darrell’s family members.

“Gill left Darrell to die and then proceeded to carry out his day to day life without a second thought for his actions.

“We are devastated in the way Darrell was taken from us at a young age in such a tragic way, and words cannot express the pain and grief we feel.

“His partner, parents, sisters and daughter have to live with this every day and find it hard to come to terms that another human being has taken Darrell’s life.

“This terrible act not only took Darrell’s life but has taken the laughter and joy from our family, and our lives will never be the same again.

“Darrell’s death is so hard for us as a family, knowing the suffering he must have endured in his last moments and we did not get to say goodbye.

“Darrell was a larger than life character always there for his family and friends, and his death has touched everyone he knew.

“Darrell will never be forgotten but we can now start to move forward and rebuild our lives.

“We would like to thank the Thames Valley Police for their continued support and diligence throughout the investigation.”

Senior investigating officer, Det Supt Chris Ward, said the jury had delivered their verdict based on ‘overwhelming evidence’.

He said: “This was a pre-planned brutal murder using the most lethal of weapons imaginable.

“I hope that this conviction can help Darrell’s family and friends come to terms with what has happened and offer some closure to them.”

Ruth Bowskill, of Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, described the murder as a ‘clinical execution carried out with a medieval-style lethal weapon’.

She said: “Gill is undoubtedly an extremely dangerous man.

“This case represents a tragedy for the family of Mr Farnham.

“The victim was brutally murdered in his own home after a petty argument.

“His family and friends have been devastated by his untimely death.

“I would like to pay tribute to Mr Farnham’s family for their wholehearted support of this investigation and the dignity they have displayed while hearing the horrific details of how Mr Farnham was killed.

“We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

“We know that nothing will bring Mr Farnham back to his family, but we hope that today’s conviction and sentence brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”

Gill will be sentenced this afternoon.