13 January 2023

‘Psychopath with a conscience’ builder sentenced for murdering two escorts

13 January 2023

A builder who murdered two escorts and described himself as a “psychopath with a conscience” has been sentenced to two life terms in prison.

Mark Brown was found guilty last year of murdering Leah Ware and Alexandra Morgan in 2021.

Brown, 41, was sentenced by judge Justice Nicholas Hilliard on Friday in his absence, after he refused to attend Hove Crown Court.

Mr Justice Hilliard gave him two life sentences with a minimum term of 49 years, less 380 days already spent on remand, to be served concurrently.

Brown killed Ms Ware and Ms Morgan at a remote farm near St Leonards in East Sussex in May and November 2021, after meeting them through a sex work website.

Brown put Ms Morgan, 34, head first into a homemade incinerator before dumping her remains.

The body of Ms Ware, 33, has never been found, but the prosecution believe Brown used a similar method, and also killed her Pomeranian dog, Lady.

The jury of 10 men and two women took 10 and a half hours to convict Brown of both murder charges on December 1.

Brown met Ms Ware in 2018 when he hired her as an escort and they developed an “on again, off again” relationship.

He killed her on or around May 7 last year after tensions grew when she pressed him to leave his partner of 14 years, the court was told.

In the six months between killing Ms Ware and Ms Morgan, Brown messaged a friend, calling himself a “psychopath with a conscience” and saying: “I’m going to be very careful how I word this – it happened again, not very long ago when disposing of something.

“It’s a very unpleasant thing to do – an old oil drum, five litres of diesel, and hey presto, there’s not very much left.

“It gets hot, very hot, it glows almost white.

“The things I have done weigh heavily on my heart, on my head and my soul. A psychopath with a conscience – it’s a joke really.”

The jury decided the message referred to Brown disposing of Ms Ware’s remains.

Brown hired Ms Morgan for sex about a dozen times before offering her an escorting job worth £100,000 in October 2021.

But when she visited Little Bridge Farm, the site he rented, the next month, he killed her and burned her body in an incinerator.

He then dumped her remains in a skip at the building site where he worked in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Brown, of Squirrel Close in St Leonards-on-Sea, claimed Ms Morgan died in an accident at the farm after hitting her head when she slipped in his workshop.

He said he burned her body “in a panic”.

He told the jury he and Ms Ware broke up in early 2021 and, as far as he knows, she is still alive.

Speaking outside Hove Crown Court following the verdict, DCI Neil Kimber of Kent Police and DCI Andy Wolstenholme of Sussex Police said they had contacted Brown’s solicitors and even attempted to visit him in prison to ask him what he did with Ms Ware’s remains, to no avail.

When asked what they made of Brown’s decision not to attend the sentencing, DCI Wolstenholme said: “Mark Brown is a man who needs to be in control, over the women he’s murdered, and I think perhaps this is one of the final vestiges of him trying to retain some control or trying to assert some authority over the people involved in these proceedings.

“That includes Alex’s family, Leah’s family, and also the jury who convicted him. I think it’s a sign of what a repulsive person he really is.”

DCI Kimber added: “Mark Brown didn’t like to hear a bad word said about him. This is about responsibility and he didn’t want to take it.”

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