The Daily Telegraph

Accused man ‘burnt bodies of sex workers in oil drums’

Builder on trial for the murder of two women told friend he is a ‘psychopath with a conscience’

- By Martin Evans crime editor

A BUILDER accused of murdering two women six months apart and then burning their bodies described himself as a “psychopath with a conscience”, a court heard.

Mark Brown is alleged to have killed Alexandra Morgan, 34, and Leah Ware, 33, who both disappeare­d in Hastings, East Sussex, last year.

Both women had been working as escorts and were registered with an online agency that Mr Brown regularly used, the jury was told.

Hove Crown Court heard that the 41-year-old, who had a long-term partner and a young son, killed both sex workers at a remote farm he rented near Hastings.

Forensic officers later found bone fragments and teeth belonging to Ms Morgan, a mother of two, in an old oil drum at a building site in Sevenoaks in Kent where Mr Brown had been working. They also discovered an oil drum at the farm which had been used to burn and dispose of materials, although police were unable to positively identify Ms Ware’s remains.

After the killings, Mr Brown allegedly sent a text to a friend saying: “Now I’m going to be very careful how I word this but it happened again, not very long ago, while disposing of something.

“I try to laugh these things off, but it’s a very unpleasant thing to do. Old oil drum, five litres of diesel, hey presto, nothing much left, but it gets hot, very hot, oil drum glows almost white, you go through a lot of stages in a situation like that.

“Things I’ve done weigh heavily on my heart, in my head and soul, a psychopath with a conscience. It’s a joke really.”

The jury was told that despite having a long-term partner, Mr Brown was persistent­ly unfaithful, regularly using escorts he met online.

Duncan Atkinson KC, prosecutin­g, said the defendant rented Little Bridge Farm, with a barn and a collection of sheds on the outskirts of Hastings, where he used to work on cars. But the court heard he also used the farm to meet with sex workers.

In 2018, he met Ms Ware through the website and paid her for sexual services. The jury was told Ms Ware, 33, from Hastings, was a mother of three who lived a “chaotic” lifestyle. She did not have custody of her children and had a history of mental illness and drug use. The court was told that after meeting online the pair had struck up a close relationsh­ip and began to see each other regularly.

By May 2019 Ms Ware had moved to Little Bridge Farm, first living in a caravan, before moving into a shipping container in the barn. But she went missing on or around May 7 2021 and has not been seen alive since. The court heard Mr Brown had tried to make it appear as if she was still alive, picking up prescripti­ons for her mental health condition and using her bank card to withdraw money from her account.

Mr Atkinson told the jury that Ms Morgan had also met Mr Brown through the website.

On Nov 14 last year, the couple had arranged to meet at Little Bridge Farm. She arranged for her two children to stay with relatives and just before 8am that day, CCTV cameras at a scrapyard next to the farm showed her white Mini Cooper pulling up, followed by a gold Jaguar belonging to Mr Brown.

Ms Morgan was never seen alive again and when she failed to return home days later her family raised the alarm. Mr Brown was later arrested and when questioned he told officers Ms Morgan had left the farm in her car just 45 minutes after arriving.

Mr Brown denies both charges and the trial continues.

 ?? ?? Mark Brown, pictured at Hove Crown Court, is alleged to have murdered the two women six months apart
Mark Brown, pictured at Hove Crown Court, is alleged to have murdered the two women six months apart

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