BUTCHERED BODY IN M-WAY WRECK; CORPSE WAS BEING DRIVEN TO THE MERSEY, TRIAL TOLD.
A MAN was butchered and dismembered before his killers packed the body in bin liners planning to dump it into the River Mersey, it was alleged.
Manchester crown court heard Ryan Hetherington, 25, was stabbed 41 times and his body was cut into nine pieces with an axe and three saws.
His alleged killers James Crawford, 47, and his wife Julie Barker, 42, then enlisted the help of a friend to drive them to Liverpool so the bin bags, weighed down with bricks, could be thrown in the river.
The court heard the plot was discovered when the car driven by Raymond Mooney crashed on the M62 and rolled down an embankment after a row.
Police found the body parts at the scene of the accident.
When questioned, Crawford told police several different stories about the killing initially claiming he had "lost it" and hit the victim with an axe after being told he was a paedophile who preferred little girls.
Barker denied any involvement in the murder and said she had no idea there was a dismembered body in the bags in the car.
Anthony Morris QC claimed Mr Hetherington was stabbed to death during a joint attack at Crawford's home in Oldham last January.
During a night's drinking Crawford seemed to be angry and agitated about what Mr Hetherington was saying but eventually they all went to Crawford's home.
Mr Morris said Robert Burke, who was with them, remembered seeing Crawford and Mr Hetherington fighting.
Barker then stabbed Mr Hetherington.
Crawford dismembered the body and together with Barker, put the body parts, clothing and weapons, including an electric jigsaw, in the bags.
Forensic tests showed the body had been cut up in the lounge at Crawford's home.
Crawford said he lost control and attacked Mr Hetherington with an axe .
Crawford and Barker have pleaded not guilty to murder while Mooney, from Oldham, has denied peverting the course of justice.
M-WAY DISCOVERY: The crash site on the M62 and Ryan Hetherington
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Nov 20, 2001|
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