Essex

Murder accused Douglas Binet admits storing body parts

A man accused of murdering a father whose arms were found at a lake in Essex told a court he had been forced to store some other body parts.

Taxi driver Anthony Whitefield, 47, had been missing for two months when his arms were found near a fishing lake in Loughton on 31 March 2011.

Douglas Binet, 53, of Hanson Drive, Loughton, denies the murder charge.

But Chelmsford Crown Court heard the body of the father-of-five was delivered to his home.

Giving evidence, Mr Binet said he had been taking cocaine since 2002 and had developed "quite a large habit".

He began selling the drug to fund his own addiction and this led to him mixing with a network of drug users and dealers, the jury heard.

Mr Whitefield was also involved in drug dealing and had sold him cocaine since 2010, Mr Binet added.

In an interview, Mr Binet told police that somebody had delivered the body to his house and had "held a gun to my head" to make him store the body.

Angler found arm

He said: "When I had the body parts delivered, I just stuck my head in a bag of coke and was close to an overdose every day."

He added that, before his death, he had seen Mr Whitefield with injuries on a number of occasions and believed he had been attacked by his girlfriend.

An angler found the severed left arm of Mr Whitefield in a reed bed at the lake. When police investigated the discovery they also found the right arm.

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

Officers went to Mr Binet's home as he was the last person reported to have seen Mr Whitefield alive.

When they searched Mr Binet's house in nearby Loughton, detectives found Mr Whitefield's legs and torso in bin bags in the garden. The head has never been found.

The case continues.

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