THE CAGED FIGHTER Life for boxer who gunned down ‘IRA en­forcers’ and buried them on farm

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By NEIL GOOD­WIN

A CAGE fighter who gunned down two ruth­less drug deal­ers and then buried the bod­ies has been jailed for a min­i­mum of 35 years.

Thomas Haigh, 26, claimed he mur­dered the pair – said to be work­ing for a Liver­pool drugs ring run by the IRA – be­cause he owed them money and feared for his life.

He will be aged 61 be­fore he is con­sid­ered for pa­role.

A sec­ond man who helped Haigh dis­pose of the bod­ies by bury­ing them face down in a pit on a re­mote farm was jailed for five years.

Ross Stone, 28, ad­mit­ted dis­pos­ing of the vic­tims and ob­struct­ing a coroner’s in­quest.

Drugs

Sen­tenc­ing the pair, Mr Jus­tice Mackay said the de­ceased “were bad men but they had a right not to be killed – trad­ing in drugs doesn’t in this coun­try carry the death penalty”.

Dur­ing po­lice in­ter­views, Haigh said: “All the Scousers run London, Manch­ester and Scot­land. They work for an IRA firm that runs Liver­pool.

“The money is pro­vided by the IRA, it’s funded by the IRA. Guns are part of their life­style – guns are their thing.”

He said he wouldn’t cross the gang be­cause “they were the nas­ti­est peo­ple in Eng­land”.

The cage fighter was found guilty by a jury of the mur­ders of fa­ther of three David Grif­fiths, 35, and 31-year-old boxer Brett Flournoy from Liver­pool.

Co-de­fen­dant Ross Stone was cleared of both mur­ders.

Dur­ing a month long trial a jury at Truro Crown Court heard Haigh – who was a reg­u­lar fighter on the mixed mar­tial arts scene – and Stone formed an al­liance to mur­der the drug en­forcers be­cause they were threat­en­ing them and their fam­i­lies over their drugs debts.

Grif­fiths and fa­ther of two Flournoy were blasted with a 12 bore shot­gun and their bod­ies cre­mated in­side a blaz­ing Citroen Ber­lingo van.

The van was then buried in a eight foot deep pit at Sunny Croft – a small­hold­ing at Tre­nance Downs near St Austell, Corn­wall, where Stone lived.

All four men were in­volved in sup­ply­ing il­le­gal drugs and the dead men – one was shot in the back and the other in the side of his neck and face – were try­ing to force Haigh to smug­gle co­caine from Brazil to the UK, a trip he had suc­cess­fully made be­fore for them.

They had been miss­ing for a month be­fore po­lice dug up their bod­ies from the pit.

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