Belfast Telegraph

Duo shot and buried on farm worked for IRA drugs gang, court told

Two drug dealers shot dead and buried on a remote Cornish farm were working for an IRA gang that ran the Liverpool drugs trade, a court heard yesterday.

Thomas Haigh, one of two men accused of murdering Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths in June last year, claimed after he handed himself in to police that the men were working for an Irish republican group which "ran Liverpool".

The trial of Haigh and Ross Stone at Truro Crown Court also heard that both blamed the other for killing the two men, to whom the alleged killers both owed money, in Stone's case as much as £40,000.

Stone, who admits burying the bodies on his Sunny Corner farm at Trenance Downs, near St Austell, told police he arrived back at the farm on June 16 to find the bodies of the two men lying on the ground. A badly beaten Haigh was nearby, he said in an interview, and although he did not admit killing them, he told Stone "Dave (Griffiths) wouldn't die".

Later, Haigh told police, after walking into a police station in Huddersfield, that Griffiths had beaten him up over a girl he had brought back to the farm and he had run off when the men were still alive.

He claimed Stone later told him the men had left and handed him £200 he said was from the men, payment for "babysitting" Stone.

Had he been involved in the killing, he said, he would not have left it to a "thick farmer to tidy up" - a reference to Cornishman Stone disposing of the bodies - but would have taken them to "a friend's pig farm".

He also boasted of links to Triads and Turkish gangsters who could have whisked him from the country "with a click of their fingers" if he had been guilty.

Paul Dunkels QC, prosecuting, told the jury on the second day of the trial that both men's claims were lies.

"When arrested by the police, the alliance between these two men broke down and self-interest took over," he said.

"The murders were the result of the joint efforts of these two defendants. Although Haigh had worked for the two men and was sent to make sure Stone didn't get out of line, he and Stone became allies.

"They had realised Flournoy and Griffiths were problems in their lives that were not going to go away. When these two men arrived there was a loaded shotgun waiting for them. It doesn't matter who pulled the trigger, each of them played their part."

The badly burned bodies of Mr Griffiths, a father-of-three, and Mr Flournoy, a boxer and father-of-two, were found dumped in the back of a van buried on the farm in July last year.

Haigh (26), formerly of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and Stone (28), from St Austell, Cornwall, both deny murder.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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