Builder jailed for minimum term of 49 years for murders of two women

A builder has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 49 years for the murders of two women in Sussex.

Mark Brown, 41, was found guilty last year of murdering Leah Ware and Alexandra Morgan in 2021.

He was sentenced by judge Justice Nicholas Hilliard on Friday in his absence - after refusing to attend Hove Crown Court.

Brown killed Ms Ware, 33, and Ms Morgan, 34, at a remote farm near St Leonards in East Sussex in May and November 2021, after meeting them through a sex work website.

He put Ms Morgan head first into a homemade incinerator before dumping her remains.

The body of Ms Ware has never been found, but prosecutors believe Brown used a similar method to dispose of her and also killed her Pomeranian dog, Lady.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, of Sussex Police, said the force would speak to Brown to try to persuade him to reveal what happened with Ms Ware's remains.

Brown met Ms Ware in 2018 when he hired her as an escort and they developed an "on again, off again" relationship, the court heard.

He killed her on or around 7 May last year after she had pressed him to leave his partner of 14 years.

In the six months between killing Ms Ware and Ms Morgan, Brown messaged a friend calling himself a "psychopath with a conscience".

He wrote: "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 soul. A psychopath with a conscience - it's a joke really."

Brown hired Ms Morgan for sex about a dozen times before offering her a job as an escort worth £100,000 in October last year.

When she visited Little Bridge Farm - the site he rented - the following month, he killed her and burned her body, before dumping her remains in a skip at the building site where he worked in Sevenoaks, Kent.

He then claimed Ms Morgan died in an accident at the farm after hitting her head when she slipped in his workshop.

Brown, of St Leonards-on-Sea, said he burned her body "in a panic".