Killed gangster's 'reign of terror'By Victoria Smith
February 03, 2012
A Great Hollands man found dead in a buried van instilled fear in the two men accused of his murder while he chased a drugs debt, a court has heard.
The trial, which began last month, has already heard that David Griffiths, 35, of Wheatley, Bracknell, and Brett Flournoy, 31, of Merseyside, were working for an IRA gang involved in the drugs trade in Liverpool.
Ross Stone, 28, of Sunny Corner in Trenance Downs, and Thomas Alexander Haigh, 26, of no fixed address, deny murdering the two men, who were found dead in a van on farmland near St Austell in July last year.
During the trial this week, Truro Crown Court heard a series of police interviews between officers and the defendants.
Stone told police he believed Haigh had killed the men, while Haigh denied knowing anything about their murders.
Both said they feared Mr Griffiths, while Haigh said he had fled the farm on June 16 after Mr Griffiths became violent and hit him over the head with a piece of wooden bannister.
Stone told police in an interview read to the court: “Brett was a boxer and Dave had a reputation for stabbing.”
He added: “They appeared to be my guardian angels who had taken on this debt for me to stop me from being taken and possibly shot.
“Dave and Brett then gave me a week to find £10,000. They asked me to rob a bank, get my family to sell their house, to run drugs for them.
“I didn’t say no outright. I made excuses. From day one they threatened to kill me if I didn’t pay.”
When questioned about June 16, Haigh told officers that Mr Griffiths was a “head case” and that he had kicked off about Haigh bringing a girl back to the house on a previous occasion when the two men arrived at the farm.
Stone told police he had returned to the farm on June 16 last year to find the bodies of Mr Griffiths and Mr Flournoy and a distraught Haigh.
Stone told officers: “I drove in the lane and saw a body. It was Dave, he was covered in blood. I had no idea what was going on. I carried on and saw Brett’s body.
“I drove off and rang Tom. He said he was out in the road and I found him.
“He had been badly beaten. He didn’t say he had killed them, but he said, ‘Dave wouldn’t die’. I believe that Tom killed them.”
He continued: “I was in a state of total panic.
“I dug a hole in my land and put Dave and Brett’s bodies into the van. I pushed the van in the hole then set it on fire.”
When police told Haigh that Stone was blaming him for the murder of Mr Flournoy and Mr Griffiths, Haigh said it was all hearsay and if he had killed the men he could’ve been whisked out of the country by his Turkish and Triad connections.
He told police: “I have been involved with some of the nastiest people in England. I wouldn’t have left some two-bit dumb-ass farmer to clear it up.
“I would have them bagged up and taken to my mate’s pig farm. I’m not stupid. You know who I have been involved with and I’m friends with a lot of nasty people.
“If I did do it, do you think I’d leave two bodies, that’s going to mean life in jail, for some thick farmer that didn’t even like me? Do you think I would leave them with him?”
The court heard that both defendants owed £40,000 to the Liverpool drugs gang Mr Griffiths and Mr Flournoy were involved with.
The trial continues.