A DRUG-dealing father was murdered by the man he ran a garage with as a front for his crime business, a court was told.
Gary Hampson and Daniel Alexander co-ran Kop Cars in Little Western Street, Brighton.
Alexander is accused of murdering 42-year-old Mr Hampson on January 8,2011, and, with the help of Roy Bartup and Alan Topping, dumping his body.
Mr Hampson’s remains have never been found.
A fourth defendant, Linda Rosenberg, who was Alexander’s girlfriend, is accused of trying to convince Bartup to confess to detectives that he had murdered Mr Hampson.
Opening the case at Hove Crown Court yesterday (October 31), Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said Mr Hampson and Alexander ran Kop Cars as a front for drug dealing.
He said: “Little work was done on cars.
“Mr Hampson undoubtedly supplied drugs and was substantially in debt.”
Mr Bennetts said the relationship between the men had got so bad by late 2010 that police believed Alexander had given them anonymous tip-offs that Mr Hampson was dealing drugs from his home in Portslade.
On January 8 Mr Hampson had an important appointment but did not turn up. When he had not been heard from four days later his former partner reported him missing.
Mr Bennets said Alexander waited until January 13 before putting Mr Hampson’s body in a car and driving it out of the city to dump it.
He said Alexander then began getting rid of everything connected with the business.
Mr Bennetts said: “The cause of Gary Hampson’s death is something only his killer can tell you.
“Certainly after his death one person sold every valuable item from the garage, pocketed the proceeds and hid away.
“That person was Daniel Alexander.
“He did not just stop selling off garage items. He also pocketed customers’ monies, sold off their cars and went on to commit a series of robberies.”
In April 2011, what was originally a missing person’s inquiry officially became a murder hunt after detectives found blood at Kop Cars.
The premises had been cleaned and areas repainted but Mr Bennetts said there was evidence that suggested Mr Hampson had been attacked in the company office and left bleeding under a desk.
Alexander, of no fixed address, denies murder and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Topping, of no fixed address, and Bartup, of Natal Road, Brighton, deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Rosenberg, of Montpelier Road, Brighton, denies trying to pervert the course of justice.
The trial continues.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Biggest cliff fall in 50 years hits beauty spot
- Hove estate agent tells tribunal of sexual harassment at Worthing firm
- Police looking for woman who "damaged washing machine"
- Man arrested following police car chase
- Delays on trains between Brighton and London