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Mark MARTIN

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "The Sneinton Strangler"
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Wanted to become the city's first serial killer
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: December 2004 - January 2005
Date of birth: 1981
Victims profile: Zoe Pennick, 26 / Ellen Frith, 25 / Katie Baxter, 18
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on February 25, 2006
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mark Martin (born 1981 in Nottingham, England) is a British murderer.

He killed three prostitutes in Nottingham between December 2004 and January 2005, declaring his ambition to become "Nottingham's first serial killer". He soon became nicknamed "The Sneinton Strangler".

His victims were Zoe Pennick (aged 26), Ellen Frith (aged 25) and Katie Baxter (aged 18).

Martin was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment and on 23 February 2008 The Times reported that he was one of around 50 prisoners to have been issued with whole life tariffs and were unlikely ever to be released.

He had two accomplices in his murders. John Ashley (born 1972) was found guilty of taking part in two of the murders and received life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 25 years, while Dean Carr (born 1976) was found guilty of taking part in the murder of Ellen Frith and received life imprisonment with a recommended minimum of 14 years.

 
 

Drifter "had desire to be city's first serial killer"

January 17, 2006

A drifter accused of murdering three women in less than a month "relished" the thought of going down in history as his city's first serial killer, a court heard yesterday.

Mark Martin "gloried" in his crimes and boasted that there was no difference between taking one life and taking 21, a jury was told.

Two of his victims, Katie Baxter, 18, and Zoe Pennick, 26, were found buried under rubble in a derelict warehouse in Nottingham last February. Another, Ellen Frith, 25, was found in a blazing flat in the St Ann's area of the city the previous month.

Martin, 26, is alleged to have carried out the murders with his friend John Ashley, 34, a fellow member of Nottingham's homeless community. A third man, Dean Carr, 30, is accused of helping the pair murder Miss Frith.

Peter Kelson, prosecuting, told Nottingham Crown Court: "He seemed to be glorying in his notoriety. You will hear evidence that he was relishing the prospect of being known as Nottingham's first serial killer.

"He seems to have a fascination with violence towards women, with the crimes he committed and with the suffering his victims endured."

The court heard how the remains of Miss Baxter and Miss Pennick were found in a disused city centre warehouse by a police sniffer dog team.

The women had been buried under rubble and, like Miss Frith, appeared to have been strangled.

Mr Kelson told the jury how Miss Baxter, of Nottingham, was last seen leaving a family party on Dec 29, 2004, while Miss Pennick, originally from Derby, was last heard from on New Year's Day 2005.

Both Martin and Ashley, Miss Baxter's former boyfriend, had made comments to friends about the deaths even before the bodies were found, it was alleged.

All three men deny murder. A fourth, Paul Ellis, 30, denies assisting by helping dispose of Miss Baxter's body.

 
 

Murderer made serial killer boast

BBC News

Friday, 24 February 2006

Three men have been found guilty of murdering homeless women in Nottingham between December 2004 and January 2005.

Mark Martin, 26, was jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court for strangling Zoe Pennick, 26, Ellen Frith, 25 and Katie Baxter, 18.

Martin, who took the lead in the killings, said he had wanted to become the city's first serial killer.

Dean Carr was found guilty of murdering Ms Frith, as was John Ashley who was also convicted of killing Ms Baxter.

Ashley, 34, who was known as "Cockney John", was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison for his role in the murders.

He was cleared of murdering Zoe Pennick.

Carr, 30, will serve at least 14 years in prison, while a fourth man, Paul Ellis, 31, was cleared of moving Katie Baxter's body.

The court heard during the five-week trial that Martin had bragged about the killings.

Prosecutor Peter Kelson QC told the jury: "Martin was relishing in being known as Nottingham's first serial killer.

"He seems to have had a fascination with violence against women and the crimes he committed and the suffering his victims endured."

Martin boasted to a prison inmate: "If you kill one you might as well kill 21."

The prisoner, Scott Sinclair, who was on remand with Martin at Nottingham Prison, said Martin seemed proud of what he had done and the fear it generated within the jail.

Martin did not give evidence in court and made no reaction as the jury returned guilty verdicts.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Butterfield told the 26-year-old: "The facts of these crimes are so horrific and the level of offending is so serious, you must be kept in prison for the rest of your life.

"These matters were committed by you because you positively enjoyed killing, taking the wholly innocent lives of these three young women for your own perverted gratification.

"You have not shown a moment of remorse. You have revelled in what you did, glorifying the macabre details of these senseless, brutal and callous killings."

Buried under rubble

The bodies of Miss Pennick and Miss Baxter, who went missing within days of each other between Christmas and New Year 2004, were found six days apart in the same Nottingham warehouse.

Martin had partially buried them under rubble.

Miss Frith's badly-burned body was discovered by fire crews in a flat in Marple Square, in the St Ann's area of Nottingham, on 24 January, 2005.

Martin had strangled her following an argument about drug money. He then set fire to the building.

Speaking after the verdict Miss Baxter's father Stephen said: "Katie was a lovely, happy girl with her whole life ahead of her.

"Katie was never homeless. She associated with people from the homeless community and although she often stayed in these circles, it was no reason for her to be murdered. She did not deserve to die."

Miss Pennick's father Kevin, who is from Derby, added: "The pain of losing my little girl in such a brutal way will always remain with me.

"Zoe was not homeless. She had a home to go to but chose to associate with other people who led the homeless lifestyle."

 
 

Serial Killer bragged from his Jail Cell

February 25, 2006

Serial killer Mark Martin sent a chilling letter from his jail cell to a friend, boasting about how he murdered three women.

Mark Martin, who was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of three murders, wrote to Gareth Moyes: "I can't believe I am in jail for murder and three of them as well, ha ha ha." Here, the Evening Telegraph prints the letter and looks into Martin's disturbing past.

"Yeah, it's a mess boy, hey pal, but I'll get over it. I was all over the news."

MARK Martin's childhood heroes were not footballers or rock stars. They were serial killers and gangsters.

He idolised Moors murderer Ian Brady as well as the Black Panther, Donald Neilson, who savagely slaughtered his five victims.

Martin boasted to his best friend at school, Gareth Moyes, who still lives in Ilkeston, how they were going to be the next Kray twins.

But while Gareth, now 27, tried to laugh it off, underneath he knew something was deeply wrong with Mar tin.

"I saw him once try to smother a baby because it was crying," said Gareth. "I just shouted at him, 'What are you doing?'

"When we were 15 or 16, we started doing cannabis and speed together, but that changed him.

"We were buying and selling cars at the time and a few girls came with us.

He became more aggressive towards the females. Mark would hit them and swear at them.

"He said his dad was in prison with the Moors murderers. He would say he had respect for them and he admired the Black Panther [murderer and kidnapper Donald Neilson].

"He said we'd be the next Kray twins. He was deadly serious about it so I would just humour him.

"When Mark told me his dad had died, he was just laughing.

"I thought that was weird. When your dad dies, you don't laugh about it."

The last time Gareth saw his school friend was shortly before the murders of Ellen Frith (25), of Ripley and Chesterfield; Zoe Pennick (26), of Derby; and Katie Baxter (18), of Nottingham.

All three were strangled by Martin who openly told how he was striving to become Nottingham's first serial killer.

"He's a big lad and came round just before I heard all about this," said father-of- three Gareth, who lives with his partner.

"He wanted me to do some robberies with him but I said no. He then started hanging around outside my house and at my work.

"I told him I've got children and that's basically it. Enough is enough."

In April last year, one month after Martin had been charged with murdering the homeless women, Gareth received the letter.

The letter, which was handed over to detectives, was from Martin, who was in Wakefield Prison.

He boasts: "I've been charged with three murders and I'm just waiting to go on trial.

"I can't believe I'm in jail for murder and three of them as well. Ha ha ha, oh dear, ha.

"Yeah, it's a mess boy, hey pal, but I'll get over it (he then draws a smiley face). I was all over the news."

Martin also refers to his dysfunctional childhood.

He says: "I'm big now. I've been doing steroids and I'm not thin anymore.

"Remember the school days when we used to get in to loads of trouble? Ha, ha.

"What about the time we ran away from home and your mum came and got us? I used to wish I had a mum like yours."

Gareth said: "In the letter, he kept writing the number 10 with a big circle around it as if he was trying to tell me something.

"He wanted me to send ten photos of me. It's as if to say he killed ten people.

"The number three was also in a circle referring to the women he killed.

"I wasn't scared myself but my partner was. She has kept me away from him, if you know what I mean."

Gareth met Martin when he was 12 and they were in the same class at Ilkeston School, in King George Avenue.

Gareth protected his friend from bullies who teased him because of a crimson birth mark on his face, which earned him the nickname Reds, and also because his mum was Filipino.

The youngsters spent a lot of time together at school and at each other's houses. Martin lived in Alvenor Street. They even ran away together.

Gareth's only photograph of him and Martin together was taken on their return from a fishing trip.

In the photo, Gareth is dressed in the blue shirt. He was wearing a head brace, having been hit by a car and then a van while riding his bike.

But despite all his efforts to protect his friend at school, Gareth could not protect Martin from his home life.

Gareth told how his friend claimed he was often beaten by his dad with a walking stick, perhaps explaining his reaction to his death.

Gareth said: "We were in the same class together and just started hanging around.

"We'd go around picking up and selling off scrap metal so we could earn a bit of money.

"We started doing cannabis and speed when we were about 15 or 16 but I gave it all up.

"He got picked on quite a bit because of his big red birth mark.

"They called him red head and all that. I don't know whether it affected him but he shrugged it off and carried on.

"But when people hit him, that was when I'd help him.

"The police wanted me to give evidence but I have been off work with depression. This case has made it worse."

Other pupils at Ilkeston School also remember Martin's odd behaviour.

One 26-year-old woman, who was in his class but did not want to be identified, said: "Mark had learning difficulties but he didn't do himself any favours.

"He was a troublemaker and would often get chucked out of class for messing around. He was abusive to the teachers and would swear at them.

"Anything would set him off. He would chuck his bag down or start throwing stuff across the room. Mark was a bit weird really."

 
 

Murderer Promotes Himself to Serial Killer

February 25, 2006

Mark Martin, 26, and his two partners in crime Dean Carr, 30, and John Ashley, 34, (known as "Cockney JohnĒ), were all sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court for strangling ZoŽ Pen nick, 26, Ellen Frith, 25, and Katie Baxter, 18. --- Mark Martin got life in prison.

Ashley will serve a minimum of 25 years and Carr has been sentenced to 14 years. A fourth man, Paul Ellis, 31, has been released. He was cleared of the charge of moving the body of Katie Baxter. Martin had bragged about the killings, it was said.

Martin wanted to be known as the first serial killer in Nottingham and was fascinated by violence on women and talked about the suffering he put them through. He bragged to an inmate, "If you kill one you might as well kill 21."

 
 

Man's serial killer fame bid

February 25, 2006

A HOMELESS man was today found guilty of murdering three women in his bid to become a city's first serial killer.

Mark Martin, 26, strangled his victims over a three-week period early last year in what he later claimed was a bid to win notoriety.

He was found guilty of murdering Zoe Pennick, 26, Ellen Frith, 25, and 18-year-old Katie Baxter by a unanimous jury verdict at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court heard during the five-week trial that tattooed Martin, took the lead in the three murders but was helped by another homeless man, John Ashley.

The 34-year-old, known as "Cockney John", was found guilty of murdering Miss Baxter and Miss Frith after 21 hours of deliberation by the jury.

But he was cleared of murdering Miss Pennick.

Prosecutor Peter Kelson QC had told the jury that Martin had bragged about his crimes to people across the city.

He did not give evidence in court and made no reaction as the jury returned guilty verdicts.

The bodies of Miss Pennick and Miss Baxter, who went missing within days of each other between Christmas and New Year 2004, were found six days apart despite being dumped in the same derelict warehouse.

Martin had partially buried them under rubble.

Miss Frithís badly-burned body was discovered by fire crews in a burnt-out flat in the St Annís area of Nottingham, on January 24 last year.

Martin had strangled her following a drink and drug-fuelled afternoon at the property he was using as a squat, before setting light to the building.

The court was told Martin had killed her after an argument about drug money.

Mr Kelson had previously told the jury: "Martin was relishing in being known as Nottinghamís first serial killer.

"He seems to have had a fascination with violence against women and the crimes he committed and the suffering his victims endured."

Martin later bragged to a fellow prison inmate: "If you kill one you might as well kill 21."

The jury are still considering a charge of murder against Dean Carr.

The 30-year-old, also of no fixed address, denies taking part in the murder of Miss Frith.

A fourth defendant, 31-year-old Paul Ellis, was cleared of moving Miss Baxterís body with intent to impede Martinís arrest.

 
 

No compensation for serial-killer death as victim had criminal record

June 25, 2006

The father of a murdered Derbyshire woman has been told the family will receive no compensation as his daughter had a criminal record. Zoe Pennick, 26, was one of three women murdered by 26-year-old Nottingham man Mark Martin between 2004 and 2005. Miss Pennick's father Kevin, applied for £11,000 in compensation to start a trust fund for her children.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) said applicants were entitled to appeal decisions.

In a letter to Mr Pennick, a claims officer from CICA said: "Paragraph 15 of the Scheme requires us to take account of the victim's character as shown by criminal convictions or other evidence. In this case, I have noted that Zoe has a number of criminal convictions recorded which were not spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and I have concluded that a full or reduced award of compensation would be inappropriate."

Mr Pennick said he was devastated by the decision from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and would appeal the ruling. "Money at a time like this sounds almost obscene to talk about but the decision, I believe, is morally wrong. It's a very unjust decision. It's certainly added to the distress that we've already been through."

Zoe Pennick was a homeless heroin addict whose body was discovered in a disused warehouse in Nottingham. She was strangled and then her body was dumped by Mark Martin who boasted he wanted to become Nottingham's first serial killer. It came as a shock to Miss Pennick's family that she had been sleeping rough but her father admitted she had stolen items to fund her drug habit.

Mr Pennick added that the compensation money would have helped Zoe's children.

 
 


The murderers
 

Mark Martin, 26, and his two partners in crime John Ashley, 34, and Dean Carr, 30.

 

The victims
 

Ellen Frith, 25, Katie Baxter, 18, and ZoŽ Pennick, 26.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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