‘Drugs grower was killed by fellow gang member’

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A drugs ‘gardener’ at a cannabis factory was murdered by another grower who then disposed of the body so that it has never been found, a court heard yesterday.

Murray Thompson, who worked in Apsley and has family in Hemel Hempstead and Chipperfield, has not been seen since the day more than two years ago when he walked into the factory in a flat above a shop in Watford, it was claimed.

John Price QC told St Albans Crown Court: “Murray Thompson vanished that afternoon because it is alleged he was murdered.”

Mr Price was outlining the prosecution’s case in the trial of two men, James Evans, 23, and Lee Sullivan, 47, both from Watford.

He said the motive for the killing was unknown but it happened against a background of ‘serious, organised criminal activity involving the production for commercial supply of controlled drugs’.

Evans, of Bushey Mill Lane, pleads not guilty to murder, conspiracy to produce cannabis and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sullivan, of Hudson Close, said to have been the boss of the drugs operation, denies perverting the course of justice and four charges of intimidating a witness.