Two jailed for killing Paul Morson in Merseyside over 'drug dispute'

Paul Morson
Image caption Paul Morson was last seen in June 2011

Two men have been jailed for life for the murder of Merseyside man following a "dispute over a cannabis factory".

Paul Morson, 31, of St Helens, was last seen on 8 June 2011 but his body has never been found.

Ray Brierley, 59, of Whiston, and John Burns, 34, of Huyton, both in Merseyside, were found guilty of murder after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Brierley was told he must serve at least 25 years, and Burns 30 years, in prison.

A third man, Scott Callaghan, 33, from Anfield, Liverpool, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Racist murder

Morson was jailed for 11 months in 2006 after admitting supplying a getaway car to the killers of Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker.

He admitted perverting the course of justice after supplying the car to Paul Taylor and Michael Barton, who received life sentences for the racist murder of Mr Walker, 18, in Huyton in July 2005.

When he was last seen Morson was in a borrowed van, which was found abandoned on the A50 in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, two weeks later.

Det Supt Dave Brunskill, said the investigation into his kidnap and murder was one of the most complex he had been involved in.

He appealed for anyone with information on the whereabouts of his body to come forward.

Mr Brunskill said: "The murder of Paul was a tragedy for his family and girlfriend, who went through the agony of not knowing for several months how and why he had disappeared.

"They have had to come to terms with his death while not having a body to lay to rest, which has made it particularly difficult for them.

"No-one ever deserves to be harmed or killed but this case has shown the lengths that ruthless men like Burns and Brierley are prepared to go to protect their criminal enterprises."

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