Page last updated at 21:35 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Murder accused 'cut up bodies for crime family'

A sketch of the two accused in court
Stephen Marshall and Sarah Bush deny murder

A man accused of murdering and dismembering a salesman cut up bodies for a crime family, a court was told.

Pieces of Jeffrey Howe's body were found in Hertfordshire and Leicestershire last March and April.

Stephen Marshall, 38, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and Sarah Bush, 21, of Southgate, London, deny murder.

A protected witness told St Albans Crown Court Mr Marshall admitted "taking care of situations" for the "Adams" family.

The female witness, who cannot be named, told jurors he worked for his cousin as well as two uncles called Terry Adams and Tony Adams.

'Severing at limbs'

The witness told the court: "One of them, I don't know which one, had a butcher's shop or something.

"Stephen also claimed that Terry was big in the underworld in London," she said.

"He said that he began working the doors and then, because he was part of the family, got asked to do additional jobs after hours - taking care of situations as he put it, which meant at times he said that bodies would appear and he got asked to take care of them."

The woman said: "He would cut up the bodies, decapitate them, severing them at their limbs.

"He said they would put them into black bags and bury them, sometimes in Epping Forest, sometimes in different places."

The woman, who gave evidence behind a screen, said Mr Marshall told her he used a meat cleaver, large meat knives, and sometimes even a chainsaw or a hacksaw.

Jeffrey Howe
Jeffrey Howe's body parts were found dumped in two counties

She said: "He described how it would take a long time and be extremely laborious; take hours and hours to do.

"He would... put them in plastic bags and bury them, separately in different places.

"He described burning them and he described distinctly the smell of burning human flesh and said it was something you could never forget.

"He compared it to the smell of burning pig flesh."

The woman said Marshall repeatedly told her about his work.

She said he also suggested Mr Howe would be an "ideal candidate" to kill and take over his life.

The witness said on one occasion Mr Marshall pointed out a site where a human head had been found.

"Stephen was admiring the case and stating that the police would not find the rest of the body."

She told the court he then threatened her, saying he could cut her up into pieces and scatter them around the country.

Admits dismembering

Another witness, Andrew Sangers, told the court how Marshall had blinded his daughter in one eye when he smashed a car window.

Mr Marshall has admitted dismembering Mr Howe and disposing of his body parts.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The first involved giving false information about the whereabouts of Mr Howe when police were conducting a missing person investigation.

Secondly, he admitted dismembering the victim's body and disposing of the parts in different places to impede the investigation.

Ms Bush denies dismembering Mr Howe and disposing of his body parts.

The case continues.

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