Cornwall shooting death men 'worked for IRA drug gang'

Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths
Image caption Boxer Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths worked for Irish republicans, Truro Crown Court was told

Two men killed and buried on a remote farm in Cornwall were working for an IRA gang involved in Liverpool's drugs trade, a court has heard.

Boxer Brett Flournoy, from Merseyside, and David Griffiths, of Berkshire, were found dead buried in a van at the farm of Ross Stone near St Austell in 2011.

Murder accused Thomas Haigh, 26, told Truro Crown Court the pair worked for Irish republicans who "ran Liverpool".

Mr Haigh and Mr Stone deny murder. The trial continues.

'Self-interest took over'

Mr Stone, 28, who admits burying the bodies on his Sunny Corner farm at Trenance Downs, told police he had arrived back at the farm on 16 June to find the bodies of the two men lying on the ground, the jury heard.

A badly beaten Mr Haigh was nearby, he said in an interview, and although Mr Haigh did not admit killing them, he told Mr Stone "Dave [Griffiths] wouldn't die".

Jurors also heard that both defendants blamed the other for killing the two men, to whom the alleged killers both owed money, in Stone's case £40,000.

Image caption The dead men were buried with their van on the farm near St Austell

Mr Haigh - who went to hide in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, after the killings - told police that Mr Griffiths had beaten him up over a girl he had taken back to the farm.

He said he had run off and that the men had still been alive when he did.

Prosecuting, Paul Dunkels QC told the jury on the second day of the trial that both men's claims were lies.

He said: "When arrested by the police, the alliance between these two men broke down and self-interest took over.

"The murders were the result of the joint efforts of these two defendants."

The burned bodies of Mr Griffiths, a father-of-three originally from Plymouth, Devon, but living in Bracknell, Berkshire; and Mr Flournoy, a father-of-two from Bebington, in Wirral, Merseyside, were found dumped in the back of a van buried on the farm in July 2011.

Mr Haigh, 26, formerly of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and Mr Stone, both deny two counts of murder.

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