The former business partner of a missing father whose body has never been found has failed in his bid to have his murder conviction quashed.
Daniel Alexander, of no fixed address but from Brighton, went to the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to have his conviction for the murder of Gary Hampson overturned.
Alexander also attempted to get his convictions for perverting the course of justice overthrown after also being found guilty of burying Mr Hampson’s body, probably somewhere in north Sussex or Surrey.
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Police fruitlessly searched 17 sites including ponds, fields and streams in the hope of finding Mr Hampson’s body.
In December 2012 he was jailed for 30 years for murder, perverting the course of justice and robbing two off-licences in Norfolk Square and Chichester Place, Brighton and GBH after a man was injured in the latter robbery.
But his attempts to overturn the four convictions have failed.
Alexander’s case was the first time Sussex Police secured a conviction for murder without a body.
At the close of the trial at Hove Crown Court Samuel Stein QC, defending Alexander, said: “Despite the conviction he maintains his innocence.
“He misses Mr Hampson.
“He is 62. Any sentence is going to lead to the very real likelihood that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
During the trial the court was told Alexander killed Mr Hampson, of Old Shoreham Road, Portslade, after a row broke out in the garage they co-owed in Brighton.
It was alleged the fight was about drugs and that Mr Hampson was a drug-dealer.
At the end of the trial in December 2012 Judge Michael Lawson QC said: “I’m satisfied that the murder was committed in the hope of financial gain for the continued drug dealing from those premises.
“I’m equally satisfied that this was therefore a planned and deliberate attack.
“You were ready and armed to kill.”