Court hears gruesome evidence in body parts trial

PUBLISHED: 17:32 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

Victim Jeffrey Howe

Victim Jeffrey Howe

THE GRUESOME details of how Stephen Marshall allegedly acquired the skill to dismember Jeffrey Howe s body emerged at St Albans Crown Court today in the Jigsaw murder case. Mr Marshall, 38, formerly of Park Street, St Albans and Sarah Bush, 21, of Southga

THE GRUESOME details of how Stephen Marshall allegedly acquired the skill to dismember Jeffrey Howe's body emerged at St Albans Crown Court today in the Jigsaw murder case.

Mr Marshall, 38, formerly of Park Street, St Albans and Sarah Bush, 21, of Southgate, London, are both pleading not guilty to murdering Mr Howe at his home.

The pair are alleged to have to have hatched a plot to take over Mr Howe's flat in Southgate, North London by murdering him and assuming his identity.

They moved into his flat and resisted attempts by Mr Howe to get rid of them.

The witness, who cannot be named, recounted how Marshall had bragged about working for members of his family allegedly involved in gangster-type activities. One of them also owned a butcher's shop.

He told her he started working as a bouncer at their nightclubs before being asked to "take care of situations" which meant "bodies would appear and he would be asked to get rid of them."

He described how he would cut up the bodies, decapitating them then severing the limbs, wrapping them in black bags then burying them in Epping Forest.

His favoured tools for the job included a meat cleaver and a hacksaw. Sometimes the bodies would be burnt and he told her that the "smell of human flesh was something he could never forget."

She said: "He said that was how he got addicted to cocaine to get over the effects of what he had done."

She maintained he told her how easy it was to get rid of people and had said Jeffrey Howe would be "an ideal candidate".

He said it would be so easy to take over his life and his property and that no-one would ever know what had happened to him.

She said they were driving past a site once where a head been found and he said the police would never find the rest of the body.

She also claimed he told her it would be easy to cut her up in little pieces and spread her body around the country and that "no-one would ever find me".

Earlier a hushed court at St Albans Crown Court heard from Andrew Sangers, a friend of Mr Marshall who described him as "a really nice guy".

He said he had known Mr Marshall since 1996 and they had been involved in various businesses together over the years including a car wash firm.

He described Mrs Marshall as having "a playboy lifestyle" even when he was married spending thousands of pounds on prostitutes and escort girls.

When he first knew him Mr Marshall owned a gym in St Albans called Body Limits and they used to get into nightclubs all over London because he had trained the bouncers.

He said: "Steve used to be a heavyweight boxer then swapped to be a power lifter. He also owned little café concessions in car dealerships."

At the time he knew him he was married with a daughter.

He said Mr Marshall's wife told him she had tried to leave him and got in the car with their daughter but Mr Marshall smashed the windscreen resulting in their daughter being blinded in one eye by the breaking glass.

On another occasion Mr Marshall borrowed one of his cars to go and buy drugs but was involved in an accident near Nomansland in Wheathampstead close to the site where one of Mr Howe's arms was found and about half a mile from where Mr Sangers then lived.

Mr Sangers, who confessed he was, "in a drug-induced coma" himself at the time said a bus was involved in the collision and Mr Marshall had assaulted one of the passengers.

He said Mr Marshall had punched him a couple of times when they had fallen out but they had remained friends. He went on: "Steve had a very volatile temper and could go from being calm to turning really aggressive very quickly."

He agreed he and Mr Marshall knew a number of people with criminal connections but said: "Steve was a lovable bad guy".

But Sarah Bush's former partner and father of her children Lee Bunyan testified that he felt himself close to death when Mr Marshall pinned him against the wall and held his thumbs against his windpipe.

Mr Marshall took issue with Mr Bunyan over the ongoing relationship he had with Miss Bush and the power he had to prevent her seeing her children.

Mr Bunyan spoke of another occasion when Mr Marshall kicked his door down in the middle of the night and only left because his bull mastiff dog went for him.

But he told a terrified Mr Bunyan he had had a gun and a machete with him at the time and on another occasion he said he would take Mr Bunyan to Epping and get rid of him.

Mr Bunyan told the court he was and still is "terrified" of Mr Marshall.

The case continues.

It is alleged that the defendants stabbed Mr Howe to death on March 9 last year and then cut up his body and spread the parts around over two counties.

Mr Marshall is pleading guilty to dismembering the body and disposing of the parts but denies murder while Miss Bush pleads not guilty to all counts..

Case proceeding


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