Lancing father's killer found guilty of manslaughter

The man who admitted to killing Lancing father Mark Manning has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Colin Gale (right) was found guilty of manslaughter with loss of control
Colin Gale (right) was found guilty of manslaughter with loss of control

Colin Gale, 40, had been charged with the murder Mr Manning, a former bomb disposal expert, with whom he had done business and admitted owing money to.

A jury at Lewes Crown Court today found Gale, of Offington Lane in Worthing, not guilty of murder. They instead found him guilty of manslaughter with loss of control by majority verdict.

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He had admitted to killing Mr Manning earlier in the trial.

Another man, Stewart Robertson, 51, of St Aubyns Road in Fishersgate, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial of Mr Manning’s body. The verdict on this charge was unanimous.

Gale had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of preventing the lawful burial of a body.

Mr Manning was last seen alive in April 2014. It was not until last year that remains identified as Mr Manning were found near Hampshire Hill in Mid Sussex, more than 20 miles from where he lived.

Earlier in the trial Gale told the court that Mr Manning had attacked him with an axe, saying that he swung out with a wrench to keep Mr Manning away.

Gale said the object he struck Mr Manning with was a metre-long, industrial Stillson wrench, which was heavier than he had expected. “Then I just went out of control,” he said.

“I was terrified I was going to get the axe one way or another,” Colin Gale told the jury last week.

He went on to tell the court how he and Robertson had taken Mr Manning’s body into the countryside and hid it.

It was not found for more than two years until Robertson led the police to its location.

A date for the sentencing has not yet been set.

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