Headless traveller murder: scrap dealer denies role

A SCRAP dealer has denied helping to search for an industrial unit in which a Northaw traveller was murdered, a court has heard. Mark Curran is one of four men charged with killing John Finney, whose naked, headless and handless corpse was found in Ickle

A SCRAP dealer has denied helping to search for an industrial unit in which a Northaw traveller was murdered, a court has heard.

Mark Curran is one of four men charged with killing John Finney, whose naked, headless and handless corpse was found in Ickleford, near Hitchin on March 14 last year.

At St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, the defendant took the stand as the case for his defence continued.

The prosecution alleges father-of-four Mr Finney was abducted from his home at Park Farm, in Northaw Road West, at around 7pm on February 29, 2008, before being taken to an industrial unit in Hitchin where he was killed.

Prosecutor William Harbage QC said Curran called numerous estate agents - including one in Hatfield - to search for a unit to use in the plot.

But Curran said: "Every estate agent I called, I called for my own purposes."

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Curran told jurors he was in North London at the time of Mr Finney's abduction, delivering drugs to a close friend of co-defendant Joseph Jones.

The court had earlier heard Mr Finney, 42, received two threatening phone calls prior to his death, asking for "gear" - thought to mean drugs - back.

Mr Harbage asked: "Does that involve you?"

"No," Curran replied.

The 35-year-old, of Audley Close, Muswell Hill, is also accused of deleting Jones' telephone numbers from his mobile prior to his arrest on May 1.

Mr Harbage said this was an example of Curran trying to "cover his tracks".

He said: "That is ridiculous."

The final defendant, Gary Mark Lattimore, 40, of Little Heath Road, Bexleyheath, will not be taking the stand.

All four defendants, including Joseph Jones, 24, of Harlech Road, New Barnet and his father Norman Jones, 50, of Princess Park Manor, New Barnet, deny murder. The case continues.

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