Traveller 'Received death threat from own son'
BEHEADED traveller John Finney received a death threat from his son prior to his kidnap and murder, a court has heard. At the time of his abduction on February 29 last year, father-of-four Mr Finney, of Park Farm, Northaw, was involved in a relationship w
BEHEADED traveller John Finney received a death threat from his son prior to his kidnap and murder, a court has heard.
At the time of his abduction on February 29 last year, father-of-four Mr Finney, of Park Farm, Northaw, was involved in a relationship with seafood stallholder Mandy Vineall.
Appearing at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Monday), Ms Vineall spoke about the threatening phone calls that the victim had received before his disappearance.
She told the court: "He said he was getting calls from a withheld number saying they wanted their gear back.
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"He assumed that they was talking about drugs."
She added: "He didn't know what they was talking about."
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Ms Vineall also revealed she had been with Mr Finney when he had received one such call.
She said: "I never overheard anything, but John was saying 'come down, bring baseball bats, whatever you want'.
"Whoever was on the phone said 'we won't be bringing baseball bats, we'll be putting a lump of lead in you'."
In cross-examination, Michael Wolkind QC, for the defence, asked if Mr Finney's family "disagreed" with their relationship, which began after the breakdown of his 20-year marriage.
"Yes they did," she said.
He went on: "People from the unity of travellers, they do disapprove of marriages breaking up, especially when children are involved?"
"Yes," she replied.
Mr Wolkind then said: "He (Mr Finney's son, John) said he would kill his father first and you would be next.
"He said he would cut your throat."
Ms Vineall replied: "That was from a phone call."
The naked, headless and handless body of Mr Finney, 42, was found behind a garage block in Ickleford, near Hitchin, on March 14 last year.
The four defendants are Mark Curran, 35, of Audley Close, Muswell Hill; Norman Jones, 50, of Princess Park Manor, New Barnet; his son Joseph Jones, 24, of Harlech Road, New Barnet; and Gary Mark Lattimore, 40, of Little Heath Road, Bexleyheath.
They all deny murder.
The case continues.