COUNTY NEWS: Man accused of murder denies cover-up

Mark Manning's body was found last year, more than two years since he was last seen alive. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
Mark Manning's body was found last year, more than two years since he was last seen alive. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

The man who admitted killing bomb disposal expert Mark Manning has denied suggestions that he lied to cover up the involvement of someone else.

Colin Gale, 40, yesterday admitted to killing Mr Manning on April 19, 2014, but has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder. Another man, Stewart Robertson, 51, denies preventing the lawful burial of a body.

It is someone who you are unable to name, possibly through fear

Philip Wakeham

The body of Lancing father Mark Manning was found near Hampshire Hill in Slaugham last year, 20 miles from his home, after he had been missing for more than two years.

During his second day giving evidence at Lewes Crown Court, Gale was questioned today by Philip Wakeham, who is representing Robertson.

Mr Wakeham asked Gale about the efforts that had been made to dispose of Mr Manning’s body on April 20. 2014, and which people had been involved.

“I am not going to suggest to you that you deposited Mark Manning’s body by yourself, you may have had some help in that,” Mr Wakeham told Gale.

However he questioned Gale’s assertion that it had been Robertson who assisted in disposing of the body, accusing Gale of covering up for someone else.

“You are either unwilling or unable to tell us the true identity of the person who helped you,” he said to Gale.

“It is someone who you are either unable to name, possibly through fear, or unwilling to name because of their relationship with you,” Mr Wakeham added.

Gale denied these suggestions that someone else had been involved instead of Robertson, confirming his earlier testimony that Robertson alone had helped him dispose of the body.

Robertson, of St Aubyn’s Road, Fishersgate, denies the charge of preventing the lawful burial of a body.

The trial continues.

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