20 October 2022

Woman did not want her alleged killer to know she was pregnant, court hears

20 October 2022

An alleged murder victim did not want her partner and suspected killer to know she was pregnant, a court has heard.

Mark Brown, 41 and 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.

On Thursday at Hove Crown Court, Anna Williamson, an intelligence analyst at Sussex Police, talked jurors through a detailed timeline of telephone calls and text messages, social media posts, ANPR data, CCTV footage, bank transactions and medical records relating primarily to Miss Ware, Miss Morgan and Brown.

Byron Whiteside, a former employer of Brown’s who runs South East Static Trader Ltd in Rye, a static caravan company, said he had met Miss Ware but only knew her as the nickname ‘princess’.

She was beautiful, a lovely lady, when she came to work with Mark she always mucked in to help out and she would work harder than the guys sometimes.

Brown often brought Miss Ware to work with him as the passenger while he drove a pilot vehicle to accompany abnormal loads when delivering static caravans across the country.

Mr Whiteside, however, had to dismiss Brown after he took Miss Ware with a colleague to a job in Yorkshire. There were only two seats in the cab of the lorry they drove and if they had been discovered the business could have lost its carriers licence.

Describing Miss Ware and her relationship with Brown, Mr Whiteside said: “Mark said she was very lonely and didn’t want to be on the farm on her own.

“She was beautiful, a lovely lady, when she came to work with Mark she always mucked in to help out and she would work harder than the guys sometimes.

“From the outset I thought Mark and Leah were made for each other and that he would always put her needs first.”

Two mental health nurses, Charlotte Easts and Elizabeth Bond, gave an account of an assessment they carried out of Miss Ware in November 2020. On the 24th of that month she had been found slumped over the steering wheel of her car after a suspected overdose.

During their assessment on November 27 at Conquest Hospital in Hastings, Miss Ware said she thought she might be pregnant, but was not sure and did not want Brown to know.

Miss Ware returned to a further assessment on November 28 where a pregnancy test was taken.

Miss Easts said: “She didn’t know at the time of the first assessment whether she was pregnant – she thought she might be. She felt it wasn’t the right time for her to have another child.

“She didn’t want Mark to know she might be pregnant and couldn’t get to a shop to buy and take a pregnancy test.

“I felt the fact Leah didn’t know if she was pregnant or not was impinging on her mental state. She came back the next day and the test was positive.

“I helped Leah find the number for a termination service then left her in the room and closed the door.”

Medical records confirm that Miss Ware did terminate the pregnancy.

However, Miss Easts and Miss Bond both noted Miss Ware “didn’t disclose any abuse”, that her relationship with Brown seemed “close” and they got the impression he provided “good support” for her.

The trial continues.

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