MARK Manning was first reported missing by his family three days after he was last seen, on April 19, 2014.

He had arranged to meet his son Kane the following day.

By lunchtime on April 19 Mark’s two mobile phones had stopped working, his bank accounts were not being used and no trace of him could be found.

Mark’s friend Colin Gale told police that he had dropped him at Worthing railway station as he was travelling to pick up a car he had bought.

However, there was no CCTV footage of Mark at the station and no reported sightings of him.

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Officers carried out searches of his home, spoke to his family, friends and colleagues about him and made house to house enquiries.

At the same time detectives continued to make enquiries to see if he was alive.

Meanwhile, the account from Gale, who had been friends with Mark for five years, was beginning to unravel.

Footage from the station disputed his version of events as Mark could not be seen.

Cell site mobile phone analysis also revealed both Mark and Gale were pinpointed in the area of Gale’s garage P&B Motors in Western Road, Lancing.

The Argus: Kane Manning has slammed the decision to allow Colin Gale into open prison Kane Manning has slammed the decision to allow Colin Gale into open prison

Gale’s wife told police that he had confessed to her that he had killed Mark at the garage and that he and Stewart Robertson had disposed of the body the following morning.

Gale denied murder but admitted preventing lawful burial. Robertson denied preventing lawful burial.

On February 6, 2017 Colin Gale was found guilty of manslaughter and he admitted preventing a lawful burial. He was jailed for 15 years and eight months for manslaughter and preventing a lawful burial on March 13 at Lewes Crown Court.

His accomplice Stewart Robertson, then 50, of St Aubyns Road, Portslade, was sentenced to four years for also preventing a lawful burial.

In 2018, Gale appealed against the sentence. He appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the hearing.

Gale received a four-month reduction.