Murder and dismembering body of Jeffrey Howe

01/02/2010

Stephen Marshall (38) has today been sentenced for murdering 49 year-old Jeffrey Howe from Southgate in London and dismembering his body in a case described as "extremely gruesome" by Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Denis Burke.

On 29 January Marshall, of Ayot Path Borehamwood pleaded guilty to stabbing Mr Howe to death in March last year.  He had already pleaded guilty to obstructing the coroner in the course of his duties and two counts of perverting the course of justice by cutting up and disposing of Mr Howe's body and making false statements as to his whereabouts.

Marshall's former partner, Sarah Bush (21) of no fixed address today pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice for her role in the disposal of some of Mr Howe's body parts and the subsequent cover up. The charge of murder against Sarah Bush was withdrawn.

Crown Prosecution Service Lawyer from the Thames and Chiltern Complex Casework Unit, Denis Burke said, "By accepting the pleas today, Stephen Marshall has taken responsibility for killing Mr Howe and dismembering his body. Both defendants have now accepted attempting to cover up the murder and avoid detection, by the dispersal of the body parts over a wide area.

"This outcome has given the court adequate power to reflect on the seriousness both defendants actions by the sentences passed today.

"This now draws to an end an extremely gruesome case.  Both defendants saw Mr Howe's vulnerability and subsequent murder as an opportunity to seize his home, his possessions and his identity

"All this was carried out with unfaltering nerve and by Marshall in particular, with a disturbing level of expertise.  He showed a frightening disregard for human life in his willingness to kill in return for a relatively small sum of money."

Mr Burke said, "The CPS and Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Major Crime Unit have worked extremely closely together from the outset to build a strong and robust case, which has brought those responsible for this horrendous crime to justice.  We will continue to work together to protect the public, and especially the vulnerable people in our communities, from exploitation and violence.

"Having secured these convictions, our thoughts and sympathy go out to the family and friends of Jeffrey Howe who we hope can now take some comfort from the sentences passed today and now start to put this horrific incident behind them."

Stephen Marshall was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum tariff of 36 years less time already spent in custody.  Sarah Bush was sentenced to three years and nine months less time spent in custody.