Drug dealer gets life for killing a man over a minor drugs debt

24/02/2014

A drug dealer who murdered a man over a minor drugs debt has been jailed for life. Two others who helped him have also received lengthy jail sentences.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Nazzareno Abela attacked Mark Reissing and left him with fatal injuries in a street off Wallasey Promenade on 9 July last year.

His body was later found by a man walking his dog.

Mark Reissing had agreed to sell some drugs for Abela but did not have enough money to pay him back.

The court heard that Mark lived with his girlfriend in Trafalgar Road in Wallasey and had argued with her about money the evening before he died.

It's believed Mark wanted to use money from his girlfriends post office account to pay Abela back but she'd refused and cancelled her bank card.

Mark had been to the post office cash machine shortly before he met Abela and Geoffrey Allen but hadn't been able to withdraw money from his girlfriend's account.

He did manage to withdraw some money from his own account.

Abela confronted Mark on Rice Hey Road in Wallasey shortly after midnight on 9 July.   He attacked him with a knife and a blunt instrument,  causing the injuries which led to his death.

Abela's car was then used to take Mark's body to Wallasey Promenade where it was left.

The court heard that Christopher Halpin, a drug dealer from Liverpool, helped Abela to get rid of this car and also gave him a van to get out of Merseyside after the murder.

Geoffrey Allen helped Abela in the hours that followed the murder by disposing of evidence and giving him  shelter. This help continued into the following day. 

A further man , Anthony Staff, had previously pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Halpin and Allen were also convicted of supplying drugs. Halpin received a total of 19 years imprisonment and Geoffrey Allen a total sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

Janet Potter from the Complex Casework Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire, said: "Mark Reissing was involved, albeit in a minor way, with the often violent world of drug dealing.

"He lost his life because he owed a relatively small amount of money to the man he'd been dealing drugs for.

"Nazzareno  Abela  showed no mercy and was prepared to take a life to settle a  debt. That is the world that Mark Reissing had unfortunately became involved in and he paid a high price.

"His murderer and the men who tried to help him get away with this dreadful crime are now behind bars.  Our thoughts remain with Marks family who will have to try to come to terms with their loss."