A builder has been sentenced for murdering two escorts six months apart.
Mark Brown refused to appear at Hove Crown Court on Friday, where he was sentenced to a minimum term of 49 years in prison for killing Leah Ware, 33, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, in 2021.
Here is a timeline of key dates in the case:
– May 6: Leah Ware spends the evening of May 5 and into the early hours of May 6 with friend and convicted drug dealer Jack Tyler. They take drugs and have sex. This is the last confirmed sighting of Ms Ware.
– May 7: The last outgoing contact from Ms Ware’s phone is at 8.55am. The phone leaves the network in a “disorderly shutdown” that evening. Police believe she died that day.
– May 20: Brown rejoins the AdultWork website, which he used to meet Ms Ware in 2018.
– June 8: Brown meets Ms Morgan for sex at her home in Sissinghurst, near Cranbrook, Kent, for the first time, after booking an appointment through AdultWork.
– June 13: Brown messages old school friend Elizabeth Howard: “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 my soul. A psychopath with a conscience – it’s a joke really.”
– June 21: Brown meets Ms Morgan at Little Bridge Farm, near Hastings, Kent, for sex – and again on seven more occasions during August and September.
– October 23: On WhatsApp, Brown offers Ms Morgan an escorting job paying up to £100,000.
– November 13: Ms Morgan’s parents collect her son and dog to allow her to go on a trip for four days. She tells family members she is going on a spa weekend with a friend but is in fact meeting Brown for sex at Little Bridge Farm.
– November 14: Ms Morgan leaves home and is seen on CCTV buying fuel at Ashwal Garage in Cranbrook at 7.20am. She arrives at Little Bridge Farm at about 8am. Ms Morgan is killed by Brown and he destroys her remains by burning her body in a home-made incinerator.
– November 17: Brown and an associate move Ms Morgan’s car to Holmhurst Lane, St Leonards, where it is left with false number plates. Brown dumps the oil barrel containing Ms Morgan’s remains into a skip at a building site where he worked in Sevenoaks. Ms Morgan fails to return to her parents to pick up her son and dog as planned.
– November 18: Ms Morgan is reported missing by her mother.
– November 20: Kent Police’s Major Crime Unit begins an investigation.
– November 23: CCTV footage is found showing Ms Morgan’s car following Brown’s Jaguar up the track to Little Bridge Farm. Kent Police cordon off access to the farm. Brown arrives and gives a non-custodial interview, offering DNA and fingerprints. He admits meeting Ms Morgan for sex but said she left after 45 minutes.
– November 24: Brown tells his colleague Alan Downs he is about to be arrested for a “double murder”.
– November 25: Brown is arrested on suspicion of Ms Morgan’s murder.
– November 26: Kent Police contact Sussex Police in a bid to locate Ms Ware. During a search of Brown’s work van, Ms Ware’s prescription medication is found and she is identified as a potential witness. A missing person inquiry is opened.
– November 28: Brown is charged with Ms Morgan’s murder.
– December 1: Bone and tooth fragments are found in the oil barrel Brown dumped in a skip at the Sevenoaks building site. Forensic odontologists say the teeth were Ms Morgan’s.
– December 8: Believing Ms Ware has been killed, Sussex Police change their missing person case to a murder probe.
– January 7: The search at Little Bridge Farm ends. Bones belonging to a Pomeranian dog are found. Police believe they are the bones of Ms Ware’s pet, Lady.
– February 1: Brown is charged with Ms Ware’s murder.
– February 4: Brown appears at Lewes Crown Court charged with both murders. He pleads not guilty to the murder of Ms Morgan but, after the discovery of her remains, he admits destroying her body with fire – claiming she fell and died on the farm in an accident.
– March 25: Brown denies Ms Ware’s murder.
– October 17: Brown’s trial begins at Hove Crown Court.
– November 29: The jury retires to consider its verdict.
– December 1: The jury of 10 men and two women find Brown guilty of murder.
– January 13: Judge Justice Nicholas Hilliard sentences Mark Brown to life in prison with a minimum term of 49 years, less 380 days served on remand, in his absence, at Hove Crown Court.