‘Psychopath’ killer Mark Brown is jailed for at least 49 years for killing prostitutes Alexandra Morgan and Leah Brown after forcing one to live in locked shipping container
- Brown, 41, was handed lengthy 49-year sentence at Hove Crown Court on Friday
- He torched both his victims’ bodies in oil drum at remote farm near St Leonards
- Former builder was found guilty of both murders following seven-week trial
A ‘psychopath’ killer who brutally murdered two sex workers before torching their bodies in an oil drum has been jailed for at least 49 years.
Former builder Mark Brown, 41, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court today for killing mothers Leah Ware, 33, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, in Sussex in 2021.
The father-of-three torched their bodies at a remote farm near St Leonards after meeting them through the sex work website adultwork.com.
Both women disappeared at Little Bridge Farm, Hastings, six months apart. Miss Morgan’s remains were later found on a building site Brown had worked on, while those of Miss Ware have never been located.
Mark Brown (pictured) has been sentenced to at least 49 years behind bars for killing two escorts at Little Bridge Farm following a seven-week trial at Hove Crown Court
Brown was convicted of murdering Leah Ware (left) and Alexandra Morgan (right)
Brown, who told a friend he was a ‘psychopath with a conscience’, denied murdering them, claiming Miss Morgan, a mother-of-two, had slipped on some tools in his workshop and hit her head.
And he claimed Miss Ware, a mother-of-three, had gone off with travellers and was still alive and well.
Last December he was convicted of both murders at Hove Crown Court after a seven-week trial. He refused to attend court for his sentencing today and remained in his prison cell.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard said he had considered a full life tariff but felt it did not meet the necessary standard.
But he sentenced him to 49 years for each murder count minus the 380 days he has served on remand. The two sentences will be served concurrently,
The families of the two victims gasped and shouted ‘Yes’ before breaking out in spontaneous applause.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘Brown is a dangerous individual who poses a significant threat to women. He preyed on the vulnerabilities of Leah and Alex and worked to build their trust, only to then exploit it for his own personal gain.
‘It was important for his sentence to truly reflect the abhorrent nature of his crimes and ensure he’s not in a position to harm any other women for the rest of his life.’
Detective Superintendent Andy Wolstenholme, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, added: ‘We hope the conviction and sentence of Mark Brown will bring some sense of justice to the families of both Alex and Leah, and allow them to come to terms with the tragic loss of their loved ones.
‘Even though the court case has concluded, we are still committed to following-up all viable lines of enquiry that may help us locate Leah’s body and give her family some of the answers they so desperately want and deserve.’
Earlier the court heard Brown had ripped two mothers from their children and their families in the most ‘devastating’ way.
In an emotional statement, Miss Ware’s mother, Rebecca Martin, said no child should have their mother taken from them in such a brutal way.
She said: ‘Leah was a mother of three children. No child should go through finding out what atrocities their mother has gone through. She was kind, intelligent and loving to everyone she met.
‘She will leave a huge hole in her children’s lives. I have sudden surges of mental and physical pain when I realise I wont see her again. The pain is so hard to bear.’
Mrs Martin said it was a ‘sadistic torture’ that Brown had refused to tell them what he did with her body and the family has been left without the closure of a funeral or a place they can visit her.
Her sister Zara Ware said: ‘Losing my sister has been the most destroying and devastating experience can imagine. A perverted psychopath has preyed on my sister and taken advantage of her loneliness.
The ‘psychopath’ murdered two sex workers after forcing one to live in a padlocked shipping container and then burned her body in a home-made incinerator before killing his second victim who ‘left clues behind’ for her family. Pictured: Brown arrives at Lewes Court earlier in the trial
‘She will never have the chance to see her children again. How do you explain to children aged between six and 12 that they will never get to see their mother again?
‘One of the last messages I received from Leah was: ”I will always be your big sister and be there for you and protect you.”’
Gabby Barnard, her cousin, said: ‘Mark Brown has selfishly taken two mothers away from their children.
‘He has prevented us from giving them a proper burial and therefore we have no place where we can remember them. He has taken Leah from us but he will never take our memories from us.’
The court heard Miss Morgan’s parents, Jackie and Michael, had been left ‘devastated’ by their daughter’s murder.
In letters to Judge Hilliard they spoke of the intelligence of their daughter and said her chief concern in life was to provide for her two young sons.
Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of an image of Little Bridge Farm
Reading their statement, Duncan Atkinson KC, prosecuting, said: ‘She was a bright, energetic young woman with a determination to succeed and a strong work ethic.
‘She had faced challenges but challenges she was overcoming. She was planning a future for her two children.’
Earlier the court heard that although Brown, of St Leonards-on-Sea, was a family man with three sons, he was ‘persistently’ unfaithful to his partner, Lisa Clarke, 44.
He rented a barn and a collection of outbuildings at Little Bridge Farm on the outskirts of Hastings where he would work on cars.
But Brown also used the farm buildings for regular sexual assignations with escorts he met online.
In 2018 he contacted Miss Ware through the adultwork.com website and paid her for sex.
Miss Ware, 33, from Hastings, was a mother-of-three and had a history of serious mental illness and drug use and did not have custody of her children.
By May 2019 Miss Ware had moved to Little Bridge Farm, first living in a caravan before moving into an old shipping container located in the barn.
Footage during the trial showed Brown using Ms Ware’s cards months after her disappearance to give the illusion she was still alive
Footage released throughout the trial shows one occasion where Brown, wearing a black hoodie, signed off on the prescription on her behalf
She acquired two dogs, a Pomeranian called Lady and a Mastiff called Duke, as well as a horse, Bertie, and some goats.
The court heard Brown was very controlling of Miss Ware and would lock her into the barn when he was at work.
He also used restraints and a gag on her during sex and liked her to be ‘subservient’ to him.
Miss Ware went missing on or around May 7 2021 and has never been seen alive by friends or neighbours since.
Just a day after she was last seen Brown re-homed her dog Duke, a Mastiff, with his sister.
Her beloved Pomeranian, Lady, was later found next to a pond with her skeletal remains attached to a dumbbell with a chain.
Miss Ware went missing on or around May 7 2021 and has never been seen alive by friends or neighbours since.
After her disappearance Brown sent a chilling text to friend, Elizabeth Howard, saying: ‘Things I’ve done weigh heavily on my heart, in my head and soul, a psychopath with a conscience. It’s a joke really’.
He went on to tell her: ‘I’ve done monstrous things but I couldn’t do anything to you. You deserve better than me, you’re amazing.’
Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of an image of an oil drum
Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of an image of a rollerblades box. The rollerblade box relates to clues Alexandra Morgan left before visiting Brown for sex for the final time. She left a note for her son saying ‘let’s go rollerblading’ and inside his box of rollerblades they found cash, the pin number to her secret phone used for escorting work, and a note giving Brown’s name and address
The jury was told Alex Morgan of Sissinghurst, Kent also met Brown through the adultwork.com website.
Miss Morgan, a former dog groomer, met Brown several times for sex both at her home and at the remote farm.
Around six months after they first met Brown texted telling her a business opportunity had arisen at the hotel where he worked as a night security guard which would earn her around £100,000 for just 3-5 days work.
She arranged for her two sons to stay with her parents and at 7.58am on Remembrance Sunday (Nov 14) 2021 she arrived at the farm in her cream Mini Cooper.
CCTV showed the Mini driving up a track followed by a gold Jaguar, being driven by Brown. She was never seen alive again.
Brown told the jury that once in his workshop Miss Morgan had tragically died after she accidentally slipped on some tools lying on the floor.
He said she flew through the air like ‘a cartoon’ character slipping on a ‘banana skin’ and hit her head on the floor suffering a catastrophic head injury.
Brown told the jury that despite carrying out first aid on her his efforts to save her were in vain and she died.
But instead of calling emergency services he decided to cover up the death, burning her body in an oil drum.
When Miss Morgan failed to return home on the Wednesday to collect her sons, her parents raised the alarm.
Police discovered Miss Morgan had left a trail of clues for them to follow, including a note which read: ‘Check postcode TN34 5NY Rock Lane, opposite Bartletts’ – the location of the farm in Hastings.
As a result police were able to follow the victim’s movements as her car left her home and drove the 20 miles to Little Bridge Farm.
During the hunt for Miss Morgan police searched his works van and found a prescription for medication for Miss Ware and immediately launched a missing persons investigation for her.
Miss Morgan’s remains were later found at a building site in Sevenoaks in Kent where Brown had been carrying out groundworks on a project. Miss Ware’s remains have never been found.
The killing of Leah Ware and Alexandra Morgan by ‘psychopath’ Mark Brown: Timeline
– May 6: Ms Ware spends the evening of May 5 into the early hours of May 6 with friend and convicted drug dealer Jack Tyler. The pair take drugs and have sex. This is the last confirmed sighting of Ms Ware by anyone other than Brown.
– May 7: The last outgoing contact from Ms Ware’s phone is at 8.55am. The phone leaves the network in a ‘disorderly shutdown’ that evening. The police believe she died that day.
– May 8: Ms Ware’s phone returns to the network at 8.57am and comes in and out of the network before being switched off manually for the last time at 2.38pm.
– May 20: Brown rejoins the AdultWork website, which he used to meet Ms Ware in 2018.
– June 8: Brown meets Ms Morgan for sex at her home in Sissinghurst, near Cranbrook, Kent, for the first time after booking an appointment through AdultWork.
– June 13: Brown messages old school friend Elizabeth Howard: ‘I’m going to be very careful how I word this – it happened again, not very long ago when disposing of something. It’s a very unpleasant thing to do – an old oil drum, five litres of diesel, and hey presto, there’s not very much left. It gets hot, very hot, it glows almost white. The things I have done weigh heavily on my heart, on my head and my soul. A psychopath with a conscience – it’s a joke really.’
– June 21: Brown meets Ms Morgan at Little Bridge Farm for sex – and again on seven more occasions during August and September.
– October 23: Over WhatsApp, Brown offers Ms Morgan an escorting job paying up to £100,000.
– November 13: Ms Morgan’s parents collect her son and dog to allow her to go on a trip for four days. She tells family members she is going on a spa weekend with a friend but is in fact meeting Brown for sex at Little Bridge Farm.
– November 14: Ms Morgan leaves home and is seen buying fuel on CCTV at Ashwal Garage in Cranbrook at 7.20am. She arrives at Little Bridge Farm at about 8am. Ms Morgan is killed by Brown and he destroys her remains by burning her body in a homemade incinerator.
– November 17: Brown and an associate move Ms Morgan’s car to Holmhurst Lane, St Leonards, where it is left bearing false number plates. Brown dumps the oil barrel containing Ms Morgan’s remains into a skip at a building site he worked at in Sevenoaks. Ms Morgan fails to return to her parents to pick up her son and dog as planned.
– November 18: Ms Morgan is reported missing by her mother.
– November 20: Kent Police’s Major Crime Unit commences an investigation.
– November 23: CCTV footage is found showing Ms Morgan’s car following Brown’s Jaguar up the track to Little Bridge Farm. Kent Police cordon off access to the farm. Brown arrives and gives a non-custodial interview, offering DNA and fingerprints. He admits to meeting Ms Morgan for sex but said she left after 45 minutes.
– November 24: Brown tells his colleague Alan Downs he is about to be arrested for a ‘double murder’.
– November 25: Brown is arrested on suspicion of Ms Morgan’s murder.
– November 26: Kent Police contact Sussex Police in a bid to find Ms Ware. During a search of Brown’s work van, Ms Ware’s prescription medication is found and she is identified as a potential witness. A missing person inquiry is opened.
– November 28: Brown is charged with Ms Morgan’s murder.
– December 1: Bone and tooth fragments are found in the oil barrel Brown dumped in a skip at the Sevenoaks building site. Forensic odontologists say the teeth were Ms Morgan’s.
– December 8: Believing Ms Ware has been killed, Sussex Police change their missing person case into a murder probe.
– January 7: The search at Little Bridge Farm ends. Bones belonging to a Pomeranian dog are found. Police believe they are the bones of Ms Ware’s beloved pet Lady and both Ms Ware and Lady died at the farm on the same day.
– February 1: Brown is charged with Ms Ware’s murder.
– February 4: Brown appears at Lewes Crown Court charged with both murders. He pleads not guilty to the murder of Ms Morgan but, after the discovery of her remains, he admits to destroying her body with fire – claiming she fell and died on the farm in an accident.
– March 25: Brown denies Ms Ware’s murder.
– October 17: Brown’s trial begins at Hove Crown Court.
– November 29: The jury retires to consider its verdict.
– December 1: The jury of 10 men and two women find Brown guilty of murder.
– January 13: Judge Justice Nicholas Hilliard sentences Mark Brown to life in prison with a minimum term of 49 years, less 380 days served on remand, in his absence, at Hove Crown Court.
Source: Read Full Article