26 October 2022

Murder accused called ‘controlling’ by girlfriend, court told

26 October 2022

A man accused of murdering his girlfriend has been described as “controlling”, a court has heard.

Mark Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close in St Leonards, East Sussex, is accused of murdering Alexandra Morgan, 34, and Leah Ware, 33, six months apart in 2021.

He denies both charges.

The trial continued on Wednesday at Hove Crown Court and evidence was heard from Tamsin Gregory, a friend of Miss Ware’s who had known her since 2017.

She said she had never met Brown or even knew his name, but that she had “concerns” about Miss Ware’s relationship with him.

While seeing Miss Ware, Brown had been in a relationship with another woman for around 15 years and they had a son together.

Brown first met Miss Ware in 2018 as she worked as an escort and he hired her through an adult services website.

Their relationship developed and Miss Ware moved to Little Bridge Farm, a site Brown rented, until her disappearance in May 2021.

The prosecution allege Brown killed Miss Ware on or around May 7, 2021. Her remains have never been found.

Miss Gregory explained: “Leah wanted him to leave his wife for her but I think she knew he wasn’t going to.

“I had my concerns about the relationship, she told me a few things and she didn’t seem happy at all.

“It seemed like he was very controlling of her, she had to ring him and check in somewhere so it looked like she was in a certain location at a certain time.

“I never went to the farm and Leah said he didn’t want me up there, so she kept me a secret from him.

“Leah was using drugs and she said he would buy her drugs and watch her smoke them, but he never took them, and then he would do weird stuff like moving stuff around, basically to mess with her head.

“Leah was going to try and get her children back and he would make her feel like she was worthless and wasn’t worth having them.

“She wouldn’t leave him because of the animals.”

Miss Gregory also recalled two conversations with Miss Ware – one where she was told Miss Ware’s boyfriend had made her pose, tied up and gagged, in the boot of a car for photographs, and a second phone call when Miss Ware said she was “worried” because the photos were missing.

The trial continues.

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