Essex

Essex murder accused 'had torso in bin bag'

A drug dealer murdered a father of five and had the victim's torso and severed legs in bin bags in his Essex garden, a court has heard.

Police visited the home of Douglas Binet after Anthony Whitefield's arms were found at a lake in March 2011.

Mr Binet, 53, of Loughton, who denies murder, was the last person to report seeing Mr Whitefield alive, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

He was known to have bought bin bags because he had used his Nectar card.

An angler found a left arm in a reed bed at a fishing lake in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, with the right arm later found in the lake by police.

Detectives used fingerprints and DNA samples from the limbs to identify Mr Whitefield, who was aged 47 and had been reported missing seven weeks earlier.

Officers went to the home of Mr Binet in Hanson Drive and found the legs and torso, prosecutor Sasha Wass said.

She added: "The victim's head has never been found."

'Struggled for money'

She told the court that both men were involved in the drugs trade and were involved in dealing drugs together.

Mr Whitefield's 15-year-old daughter had reported him missing from his home in Loughton on 8 February 2010.

He also had four adult children and had worked as a taxi driver.

Ms Wass added: "In 2010 he was convicted for an offence and lost his taxi licence as a result.

"Since then he had struggled for money and it seems as though he turned to the drugs trade to cope with his financial difficulties."

His partner Debbie Woods, also from Loughton, last saw him on 7 February when she described him as acting "furtively".

He said he was going to collect some money. When he did not return to her home, Ms Woods suspected he had started a new relationship.

She later sent him a text message calling him "no good" and "sleazy" and received an abusive reply.

The prosecution alleges that was sent by Mr Binet to make it appear his victim was still alive.

The trial continues.

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