Rico Dardis death accused 'told wife of murder in recording'

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Media captionThe body of Rico Dardis, 30, from Boscombe, was found in the water off Christchurch in May 2013

A man told his wife that he had killed another man at sea during a covert police recording, a trial has heard.

The dismembered body of Rico Dardis, 30, was found in the water off Christchurch, Dorset in May 2013.

Paul Gerlach, 52, of no fixed address, and Louis Borzoni, 50, from Bournemouth, both deny murder.

A recording of Mr Gerlach saying "I murdered him" was played to Winchester Crown Court earlier.

The trial previously heard the victim, from Boscombe, Dorset, had gone out on the boat with the two defendants on the Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday.

The prosecution alleges Mr Dardis was pushed into the water and run over with the boat's propeller.

'Deserved it'

Earlier, the court heard Mr Gerlach, who owned the boat, originally told police Mr Dardis had fallen into the sea and been run over by accident.

But during cross-examination by the prosecution, he told the court that was not true.

He said Mr Dardis had attacked him, punching him several times, and that he and Mr Borzoni, of Hamilton Road, Bournemouth, then pushed him off the boat.

In the secret recording played to the court, Mr Gerlach told his wife: "I killed him, I killed him...I ran him over with the boat."

He added: "Yeah, I murdered him... and I'm not remorseful."

He also said: "He deserved it, he could have killed all of us."

'Lies to wife'

Mr Gerlach told the court he had been telling lies to his wife in the recording.

When asked why, he said: "I wanted to make myself look like this person couldn't do whatever he wanted to me."

The prosecution claims another covert police recording shows the two defendants conspiring to invent a story that the death was accidental, soon after they had been questioned by the police.

In the recording Mr Gerlach said: "If we get away with it, we haven't half got away with it."

The court heard a litre of vodka and high strength beers had been taken onto the boat.

Mr Borzoni has decided not give any evidence, the court was told.

The trial continues.

Image caption Mr Dardis' dismembered body was found in the sea at Friars Cliff, Christchurch

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