Man denies buying Julian Gardner farm death car

Julian Gardner
Image caption The court has been told Mr Gardner suffered multiple crush injuries at his farm

A car dealer has denied buying a 4x4 vehicle suspected of being involved in the killing of a businessman during a burglary at his farm in East Sussex.

Lewes Crown Court heard Terrence Bristow was seen on CCTV travelling in the Jeep Cherokee a couple of days before the death of Julian Gardner.

Mr Gardner, 53, was crushed to death at his farm near Robertsbridge on 11 October 2010, jurors have been told.

Mr Bristow, 41, of Great Chart, Kent, and five other men deny manslaughter.

At the start of his defence case, Mr Bristow said he was being driven to a banger racing track in Essex to seal a cannabis deal on 9 October.

Cameras at an Esso garage at the M20 services in Kent captured him being driven by a friend in a Jeep Cherokee and later at the Dartford Crossing.

Armed with shotgun

Jurors have been told Mr Gardner was killed after interrupting a gang of professional burglars as they ransacked his property.

He was woken by the noise of the intruders and set off to protect his property just after midnight while armed with one of his shotguns.

However, he was crushed between a Jeep Cherokee and his own Land Rover, or one of the vehicles and a water bowser.

On Thursday, Mr Bristow denied being involved in buying the Jeep on 27 September 2010.

He also denied he was one of three people who telephoned the seller to say they were outside waiting to speak to him about the Jeep.

The court has heard police evidence that Mr Bristow's brother Marcus said the vehicle was bought on behalf of a Gypsy family but Mr Bristow has denied knowing the family involved.

The six men accused of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit burglary and pervert the course of justice are:

  • Terrence Bristow, 41, of Chart Road, Great Chart, Ashford
  • Marcus Bristow, 32, of Mock Lane, Great Chart, Ashford
  • Lee Delay, 23, of Whitegate Close, Tunbridge Wells
  • Christopher Leek, 30, of Pear Tree Close, Cranbrook
  • Paul Dunn, 33, of Fryth Crescent, Cranbrook
  • Oliver Payne, 26, of Sandhurst Road, Tunbridge Wells

A seventh man, Terrence Dunn, 57, of Tanyards Estate, Sandhurst, Tunbridge Wells, is accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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