The beat goes on, even in England where guns are outlawed. Wait, make that, the beat down goes on. It’s the home of beat music, after all. Cue the Beeb:
A man who bludgeoned a former bomb disposal expert to death in a row over a debt before dumping his body has been convicted of manslaughter.
Colin Gale, 40, from Worthing, West Sussex, denied murdering Mark Manning, saying he had acted in self-defence.
The court heard that Gale had hit Mr Manning, who bought and sold cars, with a wrench at his garage in Lancing during a row over money he owed him.
Does anybody else find this writer’s pronoun use hard to follow? Who owed whom the money?
Wait, they said “wrench”! Isn’t the term in, well, English, English, a “spanner”? (Here in the breakaway colonies, a “spanner” is a very particular kind of wrench). We’ll be waiting for the answer from the Old Country – we find the uncertainty wrenching.
We could have told the guy how far a self-defense claim would get him — all the way to HM Prisons.
He was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of manslaughter, having admitted preventing the lawful burial of Mr Manning’s body.
Stewart Robertson, 50, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial.
Mr Manning, 54, a father of two who used to work for a charity that helped clear mines in some of the world’s poorest countries, had been reported missing in April 2014 after failing to meet his son, as arranged.
Det Ch Insp Mike Ashcroft, who led the investigation into his disappearance, said after the verdicts that Gale had concocted a story about dropping his former friend at a railway station.
“He has put Mark’s family through a living nightmare,” he said. “He not only killed Mark but destroyed his family’s lives as a result.”
Gale, of Offington Lane, Worthing, was arrested on suspicion of murder in May 2015 and formally charged in January 2016.
Stewart Robertson was found guilty of helping dispose of the body
It was only after his associate, Robertson, was rearrested in May 2016 that police discovered where Mr Manning had been buried.
Robertson, of St Aubyns Road, Portslade, took police to the woodland site in Slaugham, West Sussex, where his remains were recovered.
Pronouns again. Yes, this one’s susceptible to being figured out, but it’s still careless.
He claimed he was protecting himself.
A very hard claim to sell, a year after you kill the guy and hide his body. Generally, people with nothing to hide stay on scene and meet the police. Coppers are sight hounds — you run, they’ll chase. Their heuristic is a runner is Sumdood with mischief afoot.
Gale and Robertson will be sentenced later this month.
So much for their perfect crime. Still, are Britons an indoor race? We ask, because there are not many woods left in Britain’s home counties, but a body in the vast American forests seems much more likely than its British cousin to be found by a passing hunter, hiker, or bird-watcher. The number of “perfect crimes” undone by half-assed body disposal is really staggering. (But then, the number of criminal masterminds who are not fictional characters on TV is vanishingly small).
Well, no passing hunters in West Sussex, right? That takes one mechanism of body discovery off the table.