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Mark Brown found guilty of murdering Alexandra Morgan of Sissinghurst and Leah Ware from Hastings

A builder has been found guilty of murdering two sex workers six months apart.

Mark Brown killed Alexandra Morgan, 34, from Sissinghurst in November 2021 and Leah Ware, 33, from Hastings in May of that year.

Hove Crown Court heard Ms Morgan, a mum-of-two, was burnt “head first” in an oil drum at a yard Brown rented at Little Bridge Farm, East Sussex on Remembrance Day last year.

She was last seen filling up her white Mini Cooper at a petrol station in Cranbrook after arranging to meet Brown, who had hired her services as a client and had promised her lucrative six-figure webcam work at a seafront hotel in Brighton.

Brown, 41, from Squirrel Close, St Leonards, East Sussex, admitted burning her body but had claimed Ms Morgan slipped and fell on a piece of mechanical equipment in his workshop before hitting her head.

The part-time security guard said he decided to cover the whole thing up and dispose of her in a makeshift incinerator rather than call medics as he feared he wouldn’t be believed.

Mark Brown of Squirrel Close in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
Mark Brown of Squirrel Close in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

"I had a dead escort on my workshop floor, what would it look like? How would I prove she had an accident?" Mr Brown had told jurors.

Her remains - including tooth and bone fragments - were later uncovered at a building site in Sevenoaks where Brown worked after Ms Morgan failed to return home and her parents sounded the alarm.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC told the court Brown had told a “great edifice of lies” to cover up his actions.

Mr Atkinson said: “Alex Morgan had found out, as she had feared, the promise of £100,000 was simply too good to be true.

“The result of deliberate action at a time when the defendant was alone with them and in each case wanted them to be dead and took the necessary steps, as he so often did, to get what he wanted.”

Brown, of Squirrel Close in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, had denied two counts of murder.

His boss Alan Downs said Brown had told him he was going to be arrested for "double" shortly before police moved to charge him for the killing of Ms Morgan on November 28, the court heard.

Six months prior Brown had been having an affair with Ms Leah Ware, a mum-of-three who he had met through the same Adultwork website for sex workers.

Ms Ware had last lived in a converted shipping container on Little Bridge Farm with Brown after having an “on-off” relationship, lasting from 2018 until 2021.

Brown claimed it had soured weeks before her disappearance – although the pair shacked up again during a security gig at the Mecca Bingo in Ashford in April of last year.

When on the stand he accepted he had given “differing accounts” as to where Ms Ware was after her sudden disappearance on May 7 2021.

The labourer told people Ms Ware had been “sectioned”, sent to “a mental hospital” or had “killed herself”, referring to her in the past tense in an exchange with an old school friend who he told she was now “at peace”.

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Mark Brown is accused of killing Alexandra Morgan and Leah Ware. Kent Police/Sussex Police
Mark Brown is accused of killing Alexandra Morgan and Leah Ware. Kent Police/Sussex Police

In the months following her disappearance, Brown continued to collect Ms Ware’s medication for depression and anxiety from a Lloyds pharmacy near his home.

A stash of her prescriptions were later located in the footwell of his van and records show he also made withdrawals from her bank account, the court heard.

Brown had also claimed under oath Ms Ware had killed her pet dog, a Pomeranian called Lady, days before he killed her.

He said he noticed the dog was missing and later found it in a lake with a weight and a chain around its neck.

Ms Ware's friends and family said she was a devoted animal lover and would never have allowed any harm to come to her pets.

Her body has never been found.

Read more from this case:

Murder accused Mark Brown described himself as 'psychopath with a conscience'

Sissinghurst mum Alexandra Morgan 'left clues' before alleged murder at hands of Mark Brown, court hears

Convicted drug dealer denies killing Leah Ware

Murder accused’s type was ‘drop dead girls with mental health issues’

Leah Ware’s phone off network when shut in shipping container, murder trial told

Murder-accused shacked up with missing Leah Ware inside derelict Bingo Hall

Mark Brown offered Alexandra Morgan 'web cam work'

Man accused of double murder said workshop 'looked like a murder scene'

A jury of ten men and two women had deliberated took 11 hours to convict him at Hove Crown Court.

Judge Justice Nicolas Hilliard KC said the case was of the "utmost gravity" and instructed Brown to tell Ms Ware's family where her body is ahead of his sentencing.

Brown sat emotionless as he was told: “If he wishes to confirm what he had done with Leah Ware’s body, he has that chance.”

With Ms Morgan, the judge said he had lied about why she was being lured to the farm.

“If he let her go she was likely to report it to the police so how does he stop her doing that," he said.

"Murdering her would be an effective way of doing that knowing as he did, on the jury’s verdict, that he had already successfully disposed of one body.”

Judge Hilliard thanked the jury for their commitment over the six-week trial before deferring sentencing until Friday, January 13.

Libby Clark from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This is a tragic case where two women – Alex Morgan and Leah Ware – were murdered and treated with utter disregard and cruelty at the hands of Mark Brown.

“Brown has never accepted his actions; he claimed Alex’s death was an accident and created a web of lies to cover up the truth about Leah’s murder.

“We are pleased the jury saw through his lies and convicted him today, closing this complex and challenging case.

“Our thoughts remain with the families of Alex Morgan and Leah Ware. We hope, now Brown has been convicted, he will finally tell us what happened to Leah’s body, so her family can have closure.

“As more evidence was uncovered, it became clear Mark Brown was the link between both women’s disappearance and is responsible for their murders.

“I want to extend my gratitude to the officers from Kent Police and Sussex Police whose meticulous investigation helped ensure today’s conviction.

“Violence against women and girls has no place in our society. At the CPS, we are determined to bring perpetrators of these devasting crimes to justice.”

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