Cornwall double murder accused says he was 'threatened'

Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths
Image caption Boxer Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths were found in a burnt out car buried on a farm near St Austell

A man from Cornwall accused of murdering two drug dealers and burying their bodies on his land, said he and his family were being threatened.

The bodies of Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths were found buried in a burnt out van on Ross Stone's farm in 2011.

Mr Stone, 28, of Trenance Down, told Truro Crown Court that, although he was threatened, he did not kill the pair.

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

Mr Stone claimed that boxer Mr Flournoy, from Merseyside, and Mr Griffiths, of Berkshire, had been threatening him and his family for months, at one stage turning up at his house with a hand gun.

Drugs mule

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

Giving evidence in his own defence, Mr Stone - of Sunny Corner farm - said Mr Haigh had previously acted as a drugs mule for Brett Flournoy and David Griffiths.

He said Mr Haigh had brought cocaine into the UK from Brazil, but was scared he would get caught if he went again.

He told the jury at Truro Crown Court that Mr Haigh had unsuccessfully attempted to fob the pair off by claiming he had lost his passport.

Burnt bodies

Mr Stone said Mr Haigh began to talk of killing them after learning they were coming to Cornwall to see him.

"At the time it sounded like desperation. There were so many flaws with it that, it just sounded stupid," Mr Stone told the court.

"I thought it was hot air, stress relief. I didn't take it any other way at the time."

The burnt bodies of Mr Griffiths, a father of three originally from Plymouth but living in Bracknell; and Mr Flournoy, a father of two from Merseyside, were found dumped in the back of a van buried at Sunny Corner farm last July.

They had both been shot.

The trial continues.

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