Jury retires in trial of builder accused of murdering two escorts
A jury has retired to decide the verdict in a double murder trial in East Sussex.
The trial of Mark Brown, who is accused of murdering two escorts six months apart in 2021, came to a close on Tuesday at Hove Crown Court.
The jury of 10 men and two women must now decide whether Brown is guilty of murdering 33-year-old Leah Ware in May 2021, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, last November.
Brown, 41, hired both women as escorts through the same adult services website.
His relationship with Ms Ware deepened and was “on again, off again” from 2018 until early 2021.
Brown is accused of killing Ms Ware on or around May 7 2021 following increased tension and arguments as she pressed him to leave his partner of 14 years, Lisa Clark.
Ms Ware lived in a converted shipping container at a farm Brown rented – Little Bridge Farm near Hastings, East Sussex – and it is alleged she was killed at the farm and her body disposed of by fire in an oil drum incinerator.
Ms Morgan’s remains were disposed of in the same way, the prosecution said, after Brown killed her at the farm on November 14 2021.
He then dumped the oil drum in a skip at the building site he worked at in Sevenoaks, Kent.
In his defence, Brown claimed Ms Morgan died in an accident at the farm after slipping and hitting her head – and he disposed of her body “in a panic” because the sight “looked like a murder scene”.
Brown, of Squirrel Close in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, claimed that as far as he knows, Ms Ware is still alive and well.