13 January 2023

‘Depraved’ double murderer took advantage of vulnerable victim, judge says

13 January 2023

A murderer who killed two sex workers six months apart took advantage of his vulnerable victims and carried out “depraved” acts, a judge has said.

Mark Brown, 41, has been sentenced to 49 years in prison for killing Leah Ware, 33, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, six months apart in 2021.

Justice Nicholas Hilliard handed down the sentence at Hove Crown Court on Friday in Brown’s absence as he refused to attend court.

The judge said: “Leah Ware’s personal life had been difficult before she took up with the defendant – she was addicted to drugs and had a number of mental health issues.

“The defendant knew all this. Leah was particularly vulnerable, which makes the offence more serious because it represents betrayal of the trust and security which she should expect between people in intimate relationships.

“In the period leading up to the murder, Brown used Leah to satisfy his own sexual desires.

“I can’t say how the defendant murdered Leah Ware – part of the purpose of obliterating her remains was to hide how she came about her death.

“Contact with Alexandra Morgan began in May 2021. He was pretending to himself he was in a relationship with her in which payment for sex wasn’t a factor, when it very much was.

“In October he offered her a job where she could earn over £100,000 and she was going to take part in a scheme of some kind.

“She came to Little Bridge Farm as Mark Brown pretended it was the start of the money-making scheme. He claimed to have the inside scoop.

“She was extremely vulnerable because she was on her own at the isolated farm, beyond help.

“Alex must have been in the container in the barn and Brown engaged in violent sexual activity with her against her will as he had planned. This explained the condoms with his semen and her DNA in the barn which he forgot to get rid of.

“He successfully disposed of Leah Ware’s body – exactly what happened will never be known but he intended for Alex Morgan to never leave Little Bridge Farm alive.

“No sentence I pass is any measure of the lives that have been lost. No sentence can put right what the defendant has done – that’s not possible.

“Brown hasn’t attended court today which shows his conscience is untroubled by what he has done.”

Brown was sentenced to two life sentences with a minimum term of 49 years, less 380 days already spent in custody, to run concurrently.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox