Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Man admits murdering dismembered kitchen salesman

Stephen Marshall
Marshall changed his plea at the end of the third week of his trial

A man has admitted murdering a kitchen salesman, dismembering his body and dumping it across two counties.

Stephen Marshall, 38, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, murdered 49-year-old Jeffrey Howe on 8 or 9 March last year, St Albans Crown Court heard.

His body parts were found scattered in Hertfordshire and Leicestershire.

Marshall changed his original not guilty plea at the end of the third week of his trial. His girlfriend, Sarah Bush, 21, denies murder.

Ms Bush, of Southgate London, also denies dismembering Mr Howe.

Marshall had previously admitted dismembering Mr Howe and disposing of his body parts but had denied murder.

Face removed

The court heard the flesh on Mr Howe's scalp and face was removed and his ears and tongue cut away. His hands have never been found.

Mr Howe was murdered on 8 or 9 March in his flat in Southgate, north London, the jury was told.

During the trial, the court has heard Marshall had moved into Mr Howe's flat, after the pair met through the murdered man's work as a kitchen salesman.

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

Marshall refused to leave the flat and planned to take over Mr Howe's identity after murdering him, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said Marshall and Ms Bush paid no rent to Mr Howe and stole his food.

After his death, the couple began to use his bank account, Mr Trimmer said.

One witness told the court that Marshall had previously boasted of his ability to butcher a human corpse.

She said he told her he had cut up bodies for a criminal family in London, disposing of them in plastic bags which he buried.

At the start of the trial, Marshall pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice, by giving false information about the well-being and whereabouts of Mr Howe when police were conducting a missing person investigation, and by dismembering his body and disposing of the parts in different places to impede the investigation.

He also pleaded guilty to intending to prevent a coroner from holding an inquest by disposing of the body in various locations across two counties.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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The Independent I used to cut up bodies for the Adams family, Jigsaw murderer told witness - 31 hrs ago Man on trial admits jigsaw murder - 40 hrs ago
Telegraph Man admits 'jigsaw murder' - 42 hrs ago Man changes plea on jigsaw murder - 45 hrs ago
Sky News 'Jigsaw Murder': Man Admits Killing Salesman - 45 hrs ago

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