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UPDATE: Jury still out in Michael Griffiths Fernhurst murder trial

Michael Griffiths PICTURE FROM BBC

Michael Griffiths PICTURE FROM BBC

A JURY at Hove Trial Centre is still deliberating the case of a group accused of torturing and killing Michael Griffiths at his Fernhurst home.

They retired last Tuesday (March 25).

Seven defendants have appeared at Hove Trial Centre in relation to the death of Michael Griffiths, 59.

Simon Penton, 43, of Markway, Sunbury, denies murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, but has admitted conspiracy to burgle homes in Loxwood, Poynings and a home near Godalming as well as Mr Griffiths’s home.

His partner, Kerry Rudder, 43, also of Markway, denies murder, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to burgle a home in Loxwood.

Damian Krafft, 27, of High Street, Shepperton, denies murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Zack Cowdrey, 23, of Meadway, Staines, denies murder, but pleads guilty to manslaughter, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to burgle Mr Griffiths’ home.

John Bartholomew, 72, of Cross Street, Portsmouth, denies murder and conspiracy to commit burglaries in Loxwood, Fernhurst and Poynings.

Harvey Munford, 23, of Monks Way, Staines, has admitted manslaughter, conspiracy to burgle homes in Loxwood, Poynings and Godalming, conspiracy to burgle Mr Griffiths’ home and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

He denies murder.

Rebecca Rogers, 39, of Pool End Close, Shepperton, has pleaded not guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Prosecutors maintain Michael Griffiths was tortured for £40,000 worth of diamonds thought to be kept in a safe, but were later found by police stored in picnic flasks which had removable compartments.

Mr Griffiths, a jewellery-maker and antiques buyer, was found dead by fire crews at his home in Old Glebe, Fernhurst, on the morning of January 24, 2013.

His friends and family described him as a popular, well-liked and hard-working man, and a valued member of the community.

The jury heard Mr Griffiths said goodbye to the friend he had spent the evening of January 23 with, and made his way home – arriving around 11.30pm, where burglars lay in wait.

His body was found by fire crews behind his front door, with his hands and feet ‘hog-tied’.

Accelerants including petrol were used to torch his house.

 
 
 

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