Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Anatomy skill used in salesman's dismemberment

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

A salesman whose body parts were dumped across two counties was cut up by someone who "understood human anatomy", St Albans Crown Court has been 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 murdering 49-year-old Mr Howe in March 2009.

Professor Susan Black said whoever cut him up showed "attention to detail".

Removing certain body parts would have been "exceptionally difficult" for anyone without expertise, the forensic anthropologist said.

'Skill shown'

Prof Black, an expert on the examination of human remains, carried out one of the post-mortem examinations of Mr Howe's body.

Giving evidence, she told that the skill displayed during the dismemberment was unlikely to have been acquired without practice.

Asked about the way one of Mr Howe's legs was cut off, she said: "If one of my students had removed a leg in this way I would have been very pleased with them because it would have shown they understood human anatomy."

Marks found on Mr Howe's neck were likely to have been caused by a large and heavy kitchen knife or a cleaver, she told the court.

Earlier, Home Office pathologist Simon Poole said kitchen salesman Mr Howe had been stabbed in the back.

The jury has heard that Mr Howe was killed on 8 or 9 March in his flat in Southgate, north London.

On Tuesday, Mr Marshall admitted dismembering Mr Howe and disposing of his body parts.

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

Surgical tools

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.

Mr Howe's remains were discovered by members of the public in various locations between 22 March and 11 April last year.

Mr Howe's torso, which was found in a green suitcase in a drainage ditch at Colliers End, Hertfordshire, on 11 April, bore marks that suggested an animal or insects had reached it, Mr Poole said.

Other marks on the torso suggested it had started to decompose, he added.

The trial continues.



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SEE ALSO
Cut-up man 'killed for identity'
13 Jan 10 |  England
Man admits dismembering salesman
12 Jan 10 |  England

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