A TEENAGER has spoken for first time about the weeks he spent living with the man who murdered his father.

Kane Manning, now 19 and living in Portslade, moved in with Colin Gale after his dad Mark disappeared.

Unbeknown to Kane, Gale – who continued to pretend to be one of Mr Manning’s best friends – had murdered his father, pretending to have dropped him off at the station to make it look like he had gone away.

For weeks Kane, then aged 16, lived with Gale in Offington Lane, Worthing, treating him like a father figure.

Even when Gale was arrested for the murder Kane could not believe it was true until his dad’s body was finally found in undergrowth near Slaugham.

Kane, who spent two years in limbo before learning the truth, said: “I will never forgive him for what he did.

“He was one of my dad’s best friends and not only did he do that to my dad he lied and lied and betrayed me.

“I never would have thought he could do something like this. He had kids of his own.”

Talking about his bomb disposal expert father, he said: “My dad was a hero. He was passionate about his job. He worked with Princess Diana and I have a picture of him shaking hands with Margaret Thatcher.

“His job was to go around the world and save kids and make the world a better place.”

By contrast, he describes the man who bludgeoned his father to death in a garage in Worthing as a “scumbag”.

Kane added: “I went to live with Colin after dad disappeared.

“I stayed with my sister for a bit first, then went to live with Colin.

“Social services didn’t really know where to send me and it was quite a relief to know he was going to look after me.

“But the whole time he was just lying and lying and lying.

“Only when they found my dad’s body did I realise Colin had been lying. It didn’t make any sense. I just couldn’t get my head around it.

“For the whole time he was missing I thought he had gone away for a break. I always thought he was going to turn up. I felt so betrayed by Colin Gale. How could a friend do that?

“Colin kept saying to me, ‘I dropped your dad off at Worthing station’.

“He basically brainwashed me.

“He was so close to my dad. I really believed he had dropped him off at Worthing station. It was only when they found dad’s body that I thought, ‘If you dropped him off at Worthing station then how did this happen?’

“Eventually the truth came out.

“He had always seemed like a nice guy. But I learned my lesson and I will never trust anyone again.”


DURING the pivotal years of growing up Kane Manning’s life was ripped apart.

He was just 16 when his father disappeared. He waited two years for his father’s body to be found before learning his best friend had murdered him.

While he should have been learning to make his own way in the world, Kane found himself suddenly alone as a result of brutal violence and heartless betrayal at the hands of his father’s friend.

But despite his life having been ripped apart, he is focused on his business management studies and is determined to make his father proud.

Speaking for the first time since his father’s disappearance, Kane said: “Now I’m just living day by day.

“It’s a lot to take on your shoulders.

“It is very hard to cope when I’m all on my own. I have tried to keep strong. I could easily have gone down the wrong path and taken drugs and alcohol but I was raised better.

My dad always told me to work hard.

“When he was young he had a pretty strict life, no smoking, no alcohol and he brought me up the same way.

“He always told me to go down the right path. He keeps me going.

“I wake up every morning at 7am motivated for a better life.

“I’m trying to do what my dad can’t do.

“I have always been quite positive.

“I always follow my dad’s advice. In the back of my mind that keeps me going. This has really affected me because basically, without my dad, I don’t have a life.

“I used to rely on my dad a lot for support but Colin ruined my life. He’s just a scumbag.”

Mr Manning, a bomb disposal expert who worked with Princess Diana’s charity clearing landmines in wartorn countries, spent much of his life abroad while Kane was growing up.

But the devoted dad would always let his family know he was safe.

When the pair were together they shared a strong bond, taking exotic holidays and enjoying father-son activities.

“Me and my dad had a really good relationship,” said Kane.

“We had a lot in common. He was a kind person. He would help people out and he was a brave man and always very positive.

“We would do a lot of sports and go paintballing and things but he didn’t believe in violence. When we were together it was bonding time.”

Kane and his dad had a falling out shortly before the murder. Kane had been caught drinking with his friends and went to live with his mother for a while.

But the pair were soon back on good terms discussing plans to move back in together.

They were supposed to go shopping for new trainers that Saturday, but Kane cancelled suggesting they meet on the Sunday instead.

By that time Gale had already murdered Mr Manning in a row over an unpaid debt.

“I said to dad, ‘Can you come tomorrow instead?’ That was the last conversation I had with him. He seemed fine, happy. But I wish I hadn’t cancelled that day.

“I wish I had seen him that day. But if you think about things like that you just start going round in circles.”

Despite his determination to continue to make his father proud Kane’s outlook is tempered by the crushing betrayal.

“Always look after yourself and always be cautions. I don’t think I will ever trust anyone else.”


ON April 19, 2014, Colin Gale bludgeoned Mark Manning to death in a brutal attack.

Mr Manning, 54, had enjoyed a proud career in the Army before becoming a bomb disposal expert working for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a charity supported by the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

After returning to Lancing to spend more time with his family Mr Manning and Colin Gale, 40, conducted car deals together.

But Gale, of Offington Lane, Worthing, owed his pal around £150,000. Mr Manning came to ask for his money but Gale said he didn’t have it.

The father-of-two then attacked Gale with a axe, violently swinging at him. Gale grabbed a metre-long industrial wrench and attacked back.

He told the jury at his trial that he struck Mr Manning on the head, adding: “I had to finish him off or he would come back and get me.”

Stewart Robertson, 50, of St Aubyns Road, Portslade, who worked at the garage came in and saw the carnage.

The pair decided to leave the body overnight and then return the following day to get rid of the evidence. They loaded the body into the back of a van and toured the countryside looking for a suitable place to dump it.

In the end they found a quiet spot in an opening in a hedgerow at Hampshire Hill near Slaugham.

In the days that followed, Mr Manning’s family grew increasingly worried. A missing person alert was put out and his brother, Russell, appealed for information at a press conference.

All the while, Robertson and Gale kept quiet. Gale had told police he had dropped him at Worthing station – and that was the last he had seen of him.

But suspicions were raised and a police forensic team found spots of Mr Manning’s blood on the wall in the doorway of the garage.

Gale was arrested on suspicion of murder in May 2015 and charged in January 2016. Robertson was also arrested and told officers where his body was. But it was May 2016 before Mark Manning’s body was found.