A man accused of murder put his alleged victim’s body into an incinerator “head first” to dispose of her remains, a court has been told.
Mark Brown, 41, is accused of murdering Alexandra Morgan, 34, and Leah Ware, 33, six months apart in 2021.
The trial continued at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (17 November) as Brown was questioned by prosecution counsel Duncan Atkinson KC about his actions around Ms Morgan’s death on November 14, 2021.
Brown claims Ms Morgan slipped and fell on a tool or piece of mechanical equipment in the workshop he rented at Little Bridge Farm near Hastings, East Sussex, hitting her head.
He said he ran over to her and saw there was “a lot of blood”, so got a towel to try to stop the bleeding from her head. When he moved her head to place the towel under it there was “even more” blood.
Mr Atkinson said: “When you first saw she’s gone to the ground on her back, there’s already a lot of blood around her head, so it’s clear before you do anything else that she’s hurt and needs help and needs a doctor, that’s absolutely obvious.”
Brown replied: “Yes, but I was panicked and the first thing I did was grab a towel to stop the bleeding. At that point she was gone and it was my priority to try and do CPR because I couldn’t find a pulse.
“I didn’t call an ambulance because my priority was to try and stop the bleeding and then to get a pulse. There’s no point calling an ambulance if it’s not going to get there on time, your priority is to stop the bleeding.”
After attempting CPR and holding a mirror to Ms Morgan’s mouth and nose to check for breath, Brown said he was convinced she had died.
In the five minutes or so after that he used jumpers to stop blood flowing out from under the workshop door, went outside to vomit, and retrieved his mobile phone from either his car or jacket pocket with the intention of calling 999.
He then decided to cover the whole thing up, saying: “I wrapped Alex in a sleeping bag and put a towel around her head to stop more blood coming out.
“I had a dead escort on my workshop floor, what would it look like? How would I prove she had an accident? It was a stupid thing to do, it was the worst ... mistake I ever made in my life.”
Brown then decided to dispose of Ms Morgan’s body using an incinerator he had fashioned out of an old oil drum earlier that year, and used regularly to burn waste.
He said: “I’d heard urban legends about people burning bodies and I didn’t want anyone to come across a body dumped somewhere. I would have put wood and engine oil in there first, then put Alex in, put as much wood around the sides to keep everything in, then poured petrol over the top.”
Mr Atkinson said: “Given this barrel is about waist high, her top half would have been sticking out of the barrel when you set fire to it.” Brown replied: “It was her bottom half, I put her in head first.”
Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close, St Leonard’s on Sea, East Sussex, denies two counts of murder and the trial continues.