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'Drug Debt Prompted Double Killing'

st austell murder
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6:01am 13th January 2012

A court has been told two men being threatened over drugs debts were involved in the shooting of their suppliers whose bodies were placed in their vehicle, burned and buried near St Austell last summer.

Jointly accused of murder are 26-year-old Thomas Haigh, of no fixed abode but previously from the Leeds area, and Ross Stone, aged 28, who lives at Sunny Corner, an isolated property near St Austell.

They have denied murdering 31-year-old Brett Flournoy, from Liverpool, and David Griffithss, aged 35, who was living in Bracknell, Berkshire but was previously from Plymouth.

The prosecution told the jury of seven men and five women that Stone owed the two victims a substantial drug debt and he and his family had been threatened with violence.

Haigh worked for Flournoy and Griffiths and had been sent to Trenance Downs to keep an eye on Stone and the cannabis crop he was cultivating in two shipping containers buried beneath an outbuilding.  He  had drug debts and last March had been sent to Brazil to collect a supply but he was reluctant to make a second trip and he too had been threatened.

On June 16 Flourney and Griffiths travelled to Sunny Corner and later that month their families were looking for them.

Police officers went to Sunny Corner on July 1 to search for drugs and found the buried containers in which were 172 cannabis plants being grown hydroponically. During interviews Stone revealed his dealings with Flournoy and Griffiths. He said he owed them between £30,000 and £40,000 and that they had threatened to shoot him and his family and burn the house down. He said that he was growing cannabis to sell to reduce his debts.

When arrested Stone, a contractor and owner of a JCB digger, revealed where the van had been buried. When it was recovered the charred bodies were found inside. Griffiths had been shot in the face, and Flournoy in the back.

Mr Justice Mackay then adjourned the hearing until tomorrow morning when Mr Dunkels will resume his opening statement.

The trial continues.

6:01am 13th January 2012

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