Gary Hampson murder: Daniel Alexander jailed for life

Daniel Alexander
Image caption Daniel Alexander anonymously tipped off Sussex Police about Gary Hampson's drug dealing

A man found guilty of murdering an East Sussex businessman, whose body was never found, has been jailed for life.

Gary Hampson, 42, of Portslade, was reported missing in January 2011 after failing to turn up for an appointment.

Daniel Alexander, 62, was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice. He was told he would serve a minimum of 30 years.

Sussex Police began a murder inquiry after Mr Hampson's blood was found at Kops Cars garage in Brighton.

During the seven-week trial at Hove Crown Court, jurors were told the garage was a front for a drug dealing operation and that Mr Hampson, originally from Liverpool, was in debt at the time of his death.

The court heard that Alexander, of no fixed address, anonymously tipped off Sussex Police a few days before the murder that Mr Hampson had drugs in his flat.

'Extremely difficult'

During the hunt for the body, officers searched in several areas of Sussex and Surrey, including sites near the A281 north of Cowfold near Horsham, Dunsfold, a stretch of the River Adur between Henfield and Cowfold, and a number of ponds.

Sussex Police said it was the first time the force had secured a conviction without the victim's body being found.

Following the verdicts, the mother of Mr Hampson's daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the last two years had been extremely difficult for his family and friends.

Image caption Gary Hampson failed to turn up for a family appointment in January 2011

"I urge and plead for anyone who may have information as to where Gary's remains are located to come forward in order to help my daughter reach full closure," she said.

Three other people were also on trial at Lewes Crown Court in connection with Mr Hampson's death.

Roy Bartup, 57, of Natal Road, Brighton, and Alexander's partner, Linda Rosenberg, 67, of Montpellier Road, Brighton were found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Bartup was jailed for eight years and Rosenberg for three years.

Det Chief Insp Jeff Riley said: "The three defendants showed no remorse throughout the trial and sought to blame others and mislead the court about the nature of Gary's death and disposal of his body."

Alan Topping, 48, of no fixed address, was found not guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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