8 August 2012


Murray Thompson tended to cannabis plants in a flat above a shop

A “gardener” at a cannabis factory in Hertfordshire who went missing more than two years ago was murdered by another grower, a court has heard.

Murray Thompson, of St Albans, has not contacted his family since he disappeared in April 2010, aged 34.

James Evans, 23, denies murder and Lee Sullivan, 47, both of Watford, denies perverting the course of justice.

St Albans Crown Court heard the motive was unknown and a body has never been found.

Mr Thompson, a courier driver, was last seen arriving in his van near a flat which was one of five Mr Sullivan had rented in Watford for the growing of cannabis.

He was then murdered in the flat by Mr Evans, who disposed of his body, said Mr John Price QC, for the prosecution.

“It is not possible to state how he died because his body has not been found,” he added.

“But whatever happened to Murray Thompson… we do know it was something which caused him to shed a great deal of blood.”

Mr Evans, of Bushey Mill Lane, and Mr Sullivan, of Hudson Close, “harvested” a crop of cannabis from the flat and then cleared it and redecorated.

The van was driven away and Mr Evan’s Vauxhall Corsa scrapped because it had been used to transport the body, Mr Price said.

Two landlords of rented flats, Mr Thompson’s fiancee and Mr Sullivan’s ex-girlfriend, received threats to deter them from co-operating with police, the court heard.

Mr Evans also denies conspiracy to produce cannabis and two counts of doing acts to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Sullivan also denies four charges of intimidating a witness.

The trial continues.