christopher more jnr jailed for murder of brian waters

One of Europe’s most wanted men has been found guilty of the brutal murder of a Nantwich father at a farm in rural Cheshire.

Christopher Guest More Jr, who was on the run for almost 16 years, was today (December 9) been convicted of conspiracy to murder Brian Waters, from Stapeley, at Burnt House Farm in Tabley.

It took the jury just over 12 hours to reach its verdict following a trial lasting four-and-a-half weeks at Chester Crown Court.

The 43 -ear-old was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent against another man.

He has been remanded into custody and is due to be sentenced on Friday (December 10).

Following the verdict, Cheshire Police Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, who led the murder investigation, said: “Today, Christopher Guest More Jr has finally been found guilty of his part in the brutal murder of Brian Waters at Burnt House Farm on 19 June 2003.

“He fled the UK two days after the incident and stole another man’s identity in a bid to evade justice.

“We never gave up hope of finding him over the years and the guilty verdict marks a significant point in a long and painful road for all those involved.

“The level of violence used against the victims in this case was absolutely shocking.

“As police officers we are used to dealing with violent crime – but the barbaric nature of this attack is something that you never forget.

“When you look at what happened at the farm that day, and what those men did, it feels like something you only ever see in the movies.

“It doesn’t feel like something that could ever happen in real life – let alone in rural Cheshire.”

Brian Waters, who was 44 at the time of his death, sustained more than 100 separate injuries to his body after being tortured for more than three hours in a disused barn on the farm.

Another man – Suleman Razak – was left with significant wounds.

The pair sustained a brutal beating until they lost consciousness, were tied up, whipped with canes, suspended upside down and lowered into a barrel of dirty water, given electric shocks, burned with acid, stapled and strangled.

A pillowcase was also put over their heads and set on fire.

Mr Waters’ son and daughter, who arrived at the farm after their dad, were also tied up and beaten.

His son had a rope placed around his neck and pulled taut to restrain him while he was beaten and his daughter had a gun placed in her mouth.

Both were made to watch events as they unfolded.

His wife Julie was later abducted from the family home in Nantwich by two men and taken to the farm.

She arrived just as the police turned up at the scene.

Wanted - Christopher more
Christopher More several years ago

Three other men – John Wilson, now aged 71, James Raven, now aged 61, and Otis Matthews, now aged 44 – have previously been convicted between 2004-2007 of the same offences.

More Jr was a close associate of them all.

It all centred on a dispute over illegal drugs – and the result of a significant drugs debt supposedly owed by Mr Waters to Wilson, a well-known drug dealer from Manchester.

Mr Waters had been using Burnt House Farm as a base for growing cannabis.

Wilson found this out and set about trying to find its location.

He asked More Jr for help as he was experienced in undercover and surveillance work for individuals and media companies.

More Jr, who was 25, claimed at the time of the murder he was completing background research to locate a cannabis farm for covert filming as part of a TV documentary.

However, More Jr had already been cast adrift by the television company some months before this and the documentary he claimed to be researching for was transmitted within days of the murder.

On the day of the incident More Jr, who lived in Lymm, had been at Burnt House Farm with a number of other men earlier in the day to steal the cannabis and equipment used to grow it.

Raven went back to the farm – stopping off at a local shop to stock up on supplies for the men including sandwiches, cigarettes and drinks.

A carrier bag, containing packaging from these items, was later recovered from within the barn at Burnt House Farm.

This provided vital evidence to prove who was there when Brian Waters was murdered.

It was around noon when Suleman Razak arrived at the farm – and he was immediately approached from behind, beaten, dragged into the disused barn and tortured.

Mr Waters arrived an hour later and was subjected to a similar brutal beating.

Mr Waters’ son and daughter arrived together around 2.10pm.

The violence took place in the disused barn and Mr Waters was eventually dragged into the milking parlour after he had been killed.

The offenders left crucial DNA evidence behind in the carrier bag that had carefully been filled with discarded food wrapping, drinks bottles and cigarette butts.

Raven was arrested close to the scene that evening and subsequently charged.

Matthews was arrested on 20 July 2003 in Manchester and charged the following day.

Wilson was arrested on 6 October 2003 in Manchester and also charged the following day.

More Jr fled the UK two days later – on 21 June 2003 – and flew to Malaga in Spain where he rented an apartment.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued on 21 May 2004 and, over the years, searches continued in a bid to try and locate him.

Detective Superintendent Sarah Pengelly, who was involved in the hunt for More Jr and recently retired from the force, said: “It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack as he could literally have been anywhere – and, as we now know, living under a stolen identity.

“Despite the passage of time and these challenging circumstances our determination to find him never faltered and we remained committed to locating and arresting him for his involvement in the murder.

“He was finally located at an address in Malta and arrested.

“This would not have been possible without the help and support of a number of agencies working together including the National Crime Agency and law enforcement partners in Malta and I would like to thank colleagues for all of their assistance.”

It is believed More Jnr lived an affluent lifestyle and worked as a captain on luxury yachts.

Nicola Wyn Williams from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “It has been a privilege to work as part of such a dedicated prosecution team to bring the defendant to justice and hopefully provide some closure for the victims and family in this case.”

Det Supt Pengelly added: “People mistakenly believe that by leaving the country they can avoid being found but that is not the case – as this shows, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you go – you can run but you can’t hide.

“You will always be looking over your shoulder because it really is only a matter of time before we catch-up with you.”

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