17 November 2022

Murder-accused denies telling colleague he would be arrested for ‘double murder’

17 November 2022

A man accused of murder has denied he told a colleague he was “going down” for “double murder”.

Mark Brown, 41, is charged with the murders of Leah Ware, 33, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, six months apart in 2021.

The trial at Hove Crown Court continued on Thursday with Brown concluding the evidence in his defence.

Brown went to work at a building site in Sevenoaks, Kent, on November 24, 10 days after Ms Morgan’s death on November 14 and the day after he was questioned by Kent Police in relation to her disappearance.

He had a conversation with his boss, Alan Downs, warning him the police might come to the site to arrest him.

Prosecuting counsel Duncan Atkinson KC said: “You said you were expecting to be arrested and you told Alan Downs, when he asked you what for, you told him ‘murder’ and said ‘double’.”

Brown replied: “No. I said I’m going away for 25 to life. I don’t know where he got ‘double’ from, I said I would be arrested for one murder, I didn’t say double.”

Mr Atkinson said: “When asked ‘who have you killed’ the answer should have been ‘no-one’.”

Brown replied: “It should have been, yes, but that’s not what I thought was going to happen, I can’t prove I didn’t kill Alex and I didn’t think anyone would believe me. That’s why I did what I did.”

When Mr Downs asked Brown whether he did it, Brown replied that he would “go down” depending on “what they find in my yard”.

Mr Atkinson asked: “What did you think they would find in the barn? Was it Leah Ware or evidence of Leah you thought they might find?”

Brown replied: “No. I thought they would find Alex’s blood.”

Mr Atkinson went through evidence showing Brown had bought six litres of diesel hours after Ms Morgan had died, and previously bought six litres of petrol the same day the prosecution say he killed Ms Ware on May 7.

Mr Atkinson said: “You had used fuel to burn Alexandra Morgan’s body in a barrel, and you used fuel to burn Leah Ware’s body in a barrel, didn’t you?”

Brown replied: “No.”

Mr Atkinson referred to a WhatsApp message Brown had sent to a friend in the weeks after Ms Ware’s disappearance, saying: “It was the killing of Leah Ware that weighed heavily on your heart, in your head and in your soul, wasn’t it? A psychopath with little conscience?

“There had been an unguarded moment in the middle of the night, talking to someone you thought you could trust, where you gave the game away, didn’t you?

“For whatever reason you had murdered Leah Ware and disposed of her body in a barrel, then six months later you did it again.”

Brown repeated “no” in response to each statement.

Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close, St Leonard’s on Sea, East Sussex, denies two counts of murder.

The trial continues.

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