Mark Brown: Murder accused, victim’s bank account emptied, court says

A man accused of murdering his partner drained her bank account in the weeks after her death, a court has been told.

Mark Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close, St Leonards, is accused of murdering Leah Ware, 33, and Alexandra Morgan, 34, six months apart in 2021.

Every week after Ms Ware’s disappearance on May 7, 2021, Brown collected her prescription medicines and withdrew money from an ATM using her new bank card, which was delivered to his sister Cheryl’s address, the trial at Hove Crown Court heard on Wednesday .

He then left the cash and medicines in a horse box used by their pet Bertie.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC has detailed several times in the weeks following Ms Ware’s disappearance when Brown deducted £200 from her account – the maximum allowed in a transaction.

This caused Ms Ware’s balance to fall from more than £2,000 to £45, jurors were told.

Universal credit and personal independence payments were deposited into Ms. Ware’s account every Monday, and Brown’s withdrawals continued each week on or about that day, bringing her account balance to 9 April.

Twice in July 2021, Brown withdrew £200 from Ms Ware’s account before depositing £200 into his own shortly thereafter, the court heard.

When asked why he did that, he said: “I probably used their £200 and then replaced them. At the time someone owed me £430 so they probably paid me back.”

Mr Atkinson said: “The reality is that the withdrawals of funds from Leah Ware’s account had nothing to do with her and everything to do with you. Is it a coincidence that she died after her new bank card arrived?”

Brown replied, “I don’t know what you’re getting at because as far as I know, she’s not dead.”

Mr Atkinson said there had been a period of around a month from May 16, 2021 when Brown had not withdrawn any money from his own bank account.

Brown said, “I sold seven cars that month, so I ran out of money.”

Mr Atkinson asked: “You took the money from Ms. Ware, didn’t you? You knew Leah was somewhere where money wouldn’t help her.”

Brown replied, “I don’t know what planet you live on.”

When asked where Ms Ware’s bank card is now, Brown said he left it in a box on his kitchen cupboards with a note.

Judge Mr Justice Nicholas Hilliard asked Brown what the note said, to which Brown replied: “I’d rather not say it. It’s private.”

After the judge reminded him that he had sworn to tell the whole truth, Brown said, “The note said something along the lines of ‘I’m so sorry I won’t be able to help you. I love you. Be sure. Here is the new card and PIN number for you. Please take care of our Berts.”

The note was written between Kent Police, who spoke to Brown for the first time in relation to missing Ms Morgan on November 23, and his arrest for her murder on November 25, the court heard.

Prosecutors say Brown killed Ms Ware on or about May 7, 2021 and burned her body in an incinerator – in the same manner he later allegedly disposed of Ms Morgan’s remains in November 2021.

Brown denies both murder allegations.

The process goes on. Mark Brown: Murder accused, victim’s bank account emptied, court says

Fry Electronics Team

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