Body parts murder trial continues

PUBLISHED: 17:24 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

Murder victim Jeffrey Howe

Murder victim Jeffrey Howe

THE JURY in the body parts trial today heard how mother-of-two Sarah Bush confided in a fellow sex worker how her former partner had murdered Jeffrey Howe. Miss Bush, 21, and Stephen Marshall, 38, formerly of Park Street, St Albans, are both pleading not

THE JURY in the body parts trial today heard how mother-of-two Sarah Bush confided in a fellow sex worker how her former partner had murdered Jeffrey Howe.

Miss Bush, 21, and Stephen Marshall, 38, formerly of Park Street, St Albans, are both pleading not guilty at St Albans Crown Court to murdering Mr Howe at his home in Southgate, North London.

Mr Marshall has admitted dismembering his body and spreading parts of it across two counties but Miss Bush denies all counts.

Mr Howe's hands are the only body parts that have never been found.

The pair are alleged to have hatched a plot to kill Mr Howe so they could take over his flat where they were also living.

Danielle Matthews, who is also in her twenties and worked for the same escort agency as Sarah Bush, told the court that they had been friends for about three years.

She said Miss Bush sometimes stayed at her home in Shenley and they had once visited a regular client in Redbourn together.

The £100-an-hour call girls had a lot in common as they were both mothers, who had children they were seldom able to see, and had had difficult relationships with previous partners who had become violent.

Miss Matthews's evidence centred around a trip to the pub - the King William in Shenley on March 30 last year.

After a four-hour session at the pub with Miss Matthews's boyfriend Craig, where Miss Bush had been drinking beer and Sambuccas, they went back to her house and continued drinking alcopop-style drinks.

A very drunk Miss Bush sat in the bathroom and told her friend that her head was, "very messed up".

When asked why she said "Steve killed Jeff." She then explained that Mr Marshall had told Mr Howe that he wanted him to move out of his own flat in Southgate. When Mr Howe laughed Mr Marshall threatened to kill him and his family if he refused to go.

Miss Matthews said: "Sarah said Steve went crazy when Jeff laughed again and he strangled him or restricted his breathing in some way by smothering him."

She said Miss Bush was babbling things like, "There was lots of blood... I saw a dismembered foot. It started in the bathroom."

She also remembered her referring to, "hands in Epping Forest" and "visiting somewhere late at night in the country with Steve in a vehicle" but said Miss Bush was in such a state it came out in bits and pieces.

She said: "Sarah was very scared and said Steve would kill her if he found out she had told anyone."

Later a drunken Miss Bush rowed with Miss Matthews and left. Ten minutes later Stephen Marshall turned up and forced his way in and behaved in a very threatening way towards Miss Matthews telling her he would kill her if she ever saw Miss Bush again.

She said Marshall had first met Miss Bush as a client and had paid to see her privately before the pair formed a relationship.

Miss Matthews agreed she had told police Miss Bush had changed since starting a relationship with Mr Marshall looking "rough and haggard" due to the stress he caused her by exerting control over her.

She had even been ordered by him to change her name from Sara to Sarah, forbidden her to work as an escort and banned her from seeing Miss Matthews and other friends.

She alleged he had assaulted Miss Bush's previous partner Lee Bunyan, the father of her two young daughters. Since then an injunction had been taken out against Mr Marshall preventing him from contacting Mr Bunyan making it even more difficult for Miss Bush to see her children, who lived with their father.

Miss Matthews described Mr Marshall as a "nasty man" and confessed she was terrified of him even though he was behind bars.

Case proceeding.


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