Drugs gang claim by man accused of murdering farm victims

A FORMER Huddersfield man accused of murdering two men found shot dead and buried on a farm in Cornwall handed himself in to police in Yorkshire and then told investigators the victims were working for an IRA gang that controlled the Liverpool drugs trade, a jury was told.

Thomas Haigh, 26, formerly of Huddersfield, and Ross Stone, 28, from St Austell, Cornwall, both deny two counts of murder at Truro Crown Court. Stone admits a charge of obstructing a coroner.

They are accused of killing Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths in June last year and the jury was told both men blamed the other for the deaths. The alleged killers were said to both owe money to the men, with Stone’s debt as much as £40,000.

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Stone, who admits burying the bodies on his farm near St Austell, told police he arrived back at the farm on June 16 to find the bodies of the two men lying on the ground. A badly beaten Haigh was nearby, he said in an interview, and although he did not admit killing them, he told Stone “Dave (Griffiths) wouldn’t die”.

Haigh, who went to his native Yorkshire after the killings, hiding in Barnsley, told police after walking into a police station in Huddersfield Griffiths had beaten him up and he had run off when the men were still alive.

Had he been involved in the killing, he said, he would not have left it to a “thick farmer to tidy up” – a reference to Cornishman Stone disposing of the bodies.

Paul Dunkels QC, prosecuting, said both men’s claims were lies.

“When arrested by the police, the alliance between these two men broke down and self-interest took over,” he said. “The murders were the result of the joint efforts of these two defendants.”

The hearing continues.