Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Man beheaded in 'revenge' attack

John Finney
The body of John Finney was found in Ickleford on 14 March

A gang abducted a man, beheaded him and cut his hands off before abandoning his body in revenge for taking their drugs, a court has been told.

The headless and handless body of John Finney, 42, was found in Ickleford, Hertfordshire, last March.

At St Albans Crown Court Norman Jones, his son Joseph Jones, Mark Curran, and Gary Lattimore, all deny murder.

The court heard the gang thought Mr Finney had taken their "gear", believed to be drugs, and wanted revenge.

Jurors heard Mr Jones, of Dukes Head Yard, Highgate; his son, of Crescent Road, New Barnet; Mr Curran, of Mill Bridge, Dollis Valley Way, Barnet, and Mr Lattimore, of no fixed address, abducted Mr Finney, then killed, dismembered, and abandoned his body.

Blood spots

His naked body was not found until two weeks later but his head and hands have never been found.

The court was told Mr Finney had been abducted from Park Farm, Northaw, where he lived in a caravan.

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, said CCTV showed Mr Finney arriving at Park Farm and then a blue van - believed to belong to the gang - leaving, supposedly after his abduction. The burnt-out blue van was later found.

Jurors were told Mr Finney's body was taken to an industrial unit in Hitchin where it was dismembered before being dumped.

The unit was cleaned by the gang, who also commissioned a cleaning company, but blood spots from Mr Finney were later found by police, the court heard.

Mr Harbage told the court that Mr Finney had spoken to friends about threatening phone calls in which he was told if he did not return the "gear" - believed to be drugs - they would "put a lump of lead in him".

The calls were later linked to Joseph Jones, the court heard.

The case continues.

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