A MAN accused of being part of a brutal torture murder of a father-of-two told a jury he left the area before the horrific ordeal took place.

Christopher Guest More Jr, from Lymm, fled the country following the torture and murder of cannabis dealer Brian Waters, 44, at a Tabley farmhouse in June 2003.

He was wanted for more than 15 years before being detained on a European arrest warrant in Malta in June 2019, having been living under the false identity Andrew Lamb, and was extradited back to the UK in March last year.

Giving evidence during his trial at Chester Crown Court on Monday, 43-year-old More told the jury he befriended gangster John Wilson, who went on to be convicted of Mr Waters’ murder, in the hope of selling the story to TV producers.

The trial heard that before becoming involved with Wilson, More worked as an undercover researcher, infiltrating a far-right group in Nottingham and money counterfeiting ring in London.

This work would be used for TV programmes aired by BBC and Channel 4, with his work involving meetings with journalist Donal MacIntyre, the court heard.

Burnt House Farm in Tabley

Burnt House Farm in Tabley

More told the jury that in 2002, he learnt Wilson was a police informant after viewing police documents and believed he could sell the story on to the media.

A second story he planned to sell on was a documentary about cannabis, following Government discussions of it being changed from a class B to class C drug, and believed he might be able to find a cannabis farm to film through Wilson, jurors were told.

More said he bought cocaine from Wilson as ‘part of media research’ on him, and during one meeting Wilson asked him to carry out surveillance on Mr Waters.

The trial heard him say Wilson told him he had been in business with somebody, that they had a deal gone wrong, this person owed him some money and that he wanted to steal cannabis equipment and set up his own grow.

More, who the court heard discovered the location of the cannabis farm at Burnt House Farm in Tabley after following Mr Waters’ son Gavin, said he suggested a potential site, being fronted as a car wash in Stockport, for Wilson and his associates to set up a new grow with the idea of installing hidden cameras inside.

The 24-hourfootage would then be used in the documentary he planned to sell on to the media, jurors heard.

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More told the jury he was involved in helping to steal the cannabis farm on the morning of June 19, 2003 – the day of the murder.

But he said he left the scene when he realised something else was happening before the torture of Suleman Razak, who worked on the cannabis farm, and before the arrival of Mr Waters and his children.

Wilson and two other men, James Raven and Otis Matthews, were convicted of Mr Waters' murder following trials between 2004 and 2007.

More denies the murder of Mr Waters and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Waters and Mr Razak.

The trial continues.