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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Thomas Haigh Thomas Haigh was told he must serve a minimum of 35 years for gunning down David Griffiths and Brett Flournoy on a remote Cornish farm.

16:12 |

The 26-year-old had been working as a drugs mule for the pair and had previously been sent to Brazil to buy cocaine for them.
When they insisted he return to the country for more drugs, Haigh refused and shot them.
Co-defendant Ross Stone, 28, who was cleared of the men’s murders, will serve five years after admitting burning their bodies before burying them in their van following the shooting at his farm in St Austell.
The bodies of Flournoy, a 31-year-old boxer and pub landlord from Merseyside, and Griffiths, 35, from Berkshire, were unearthed after Stone confessed to having disposed of their corpses.
Both he and Haigh owed the dead men around £40,000 in drug debts.
The court heard Haigh who served nine months in a young offenders’ institution in 2005 and 2006 for dealing in heroin and crack cocaine, was on the run at the time of the shooting on June 16 last year.
Originally from Huddersfield, Haigh had moved to Workington in a bid to get away from his drug dealing past. While in west Cumbria, he rented a house on Clay Street from Workington landlord Tim Edwards.
Mr Edwards, of Bank Road, told the News & Star: “He came to me wanting to rent a house.
“He didn’t strike me as a violent character, he wasn’t intimidating at all. He thought he was God’s gift to women – a playboy type. He never had a job when I knew him and I think he was getting his money from drug dealing.
“He was a good tenant at first, he paid his rent on time and did a beautiful job of doing up the house.
“Eventually he did a moonlight flit and just left.
“I was surprised at what he had done and I suppose he is paying for it with 35 years. I think he should have shot himself while he was at it – it would have saved us all a lot of money.”
While living in Workington, he had skipped a court appearance in Carlisle for possession of an air gun because he was in Brazilsmuggling cocaine back to the UK, the court heard.
The jury took less than three hours to find Haigh guilty of two counts of murder. Passing sentence at Truro Crown Court, Mr Justice Mackay told Haigh he was an “arrogant young man” who had got out of his depth in the criminal underworld.
“These were bad men but they were bad men with the right not to be killed because trading in drugs does not carry the death penalty,” he said.
“You were attracted to the gangster way of life, you convinced yourself you were a big boy playing in the big league. But I found your erratic behaviour made you unsuited to this elusive trade. This was no more than a result of your chosen lifestyle. You knew the rules of the criminal club you joined and you broke them.”
Haigh and Stone’s four-week trial heard that the victims were gangland enforcers working for an IRA gang which “ran” Liverpool’s illegal drugs trade.
Two weeks after they died, on July 1, police made an unrelated drugs raid on Stone’s farm and arrested him for growing cannabis.
Several days later, Stone admitted in a police interview that the two men were buried on the property and told police where to dig.
He said he had found the drug dealers’ lifeless bodies on the ground at his farm with Haigh topless and dishevelled.
Haigh claimed the men arrived at the farm and he had been beaten up by Griffiths. He said he fled when Flournoy produced a gun and did not know how the men had been killed.

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