Man was '˜cowering in the corner screaming' during killing, court hears

Colin Gale thought Mark Manning would '˜come back and get him' so he decided to '˜finish him off', the mother of his daughters told a court.

The trial looking into the death of Mark Manning continued today SUS-140617-144513001
The trial looking into the death of Mark Manning continued today SUS-140617-144513001

Chloe Gale, who had been married to Mr Gale, told Lewes Crown Court today how he had admitted killing Mark Manning the day after he disappeared.

Mr Gale, 40, of Offington Road in Worthing, denies murder. Another man, Stewart Robertson, 51, of St Aubyn’s Road, Fishersgate, has pleaded not guilty to preventing the lawful burial of a body.

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Mrs Gale, who had been in a relationship with Mr Gale on and off for 14 years and married to him for four years, told jurors about a number of times when Mr Gale discussed what had happened to Mr Manning with her.

The day after Mr Manning was last seen alive, Sunday April 20, 2014, Mrs Gale had awoken to find Mr Gale was not there.

“I have never woken up and he’s not been next to me,” she said, telling the court she had started ringing him ‘straight away’ but couldn’t get through.

She told the court that when he returned at about 12pm he told her ‘he had been with Stewart [Robertson] chopping up some weed’. She said Mr Gale told her he had left his phone at home ‘because he did not want it to be traced’.

She told the court that he had told her that evening: ‘I know where Mark Manning is’, saying he ‘did it’, although she didn’t believe him.

Some time later, on a family holiday at Pontins Park at Camber Sands, she said Mr Gale was acting paranoid around the security guards, saying they were police.

She told the court that when they were alone he said he was supposed to pay Mr Manning £20,000 on the day he disappeared but he ‘didn’t have a penny of it’.

Mrs Gale told jurors he said Mr Manning was annoyed that he ‘didn’t have any of the money’.

She said Gale told her Mr Manning ‘went to go for’ him and he ‘took something off him [Manning] and hit him over the head’.

She recounted how she suggested to him it was self defence, to which he told her he was still alive after the blow, but that ‘he’s the sort of bloke that would come back and get him so he thought he’d have to finish him off’.

Mrs Gale told the jury: “He said it was disgusting and Mark was gurgling. Stewart [Robertson] was cowering in the corner and screaming.”

She said Mr Gale went on to say that he and Robertson had moved the body the next day.

Mrs Gale then described a time a few weeks later when Mr Gale came home late feeling ‘stressed’, telling her ‘he’d had to go back to the body because Stewart had thrown one of his [Gale’s] house towels on the body’.

The trial, which is expected to last a further two weeks, continues.

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