A double murderer sentenced to life imprisonment
A builder who murdered two women, one of whose bodies has never been found, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Mark Brown, 41, of Squirrel Close, St. Leonards on Sea, was convicted on 1 December 2022 of killing Alex Morgan, 34, and Leah Ware, 32. He has been today sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 49 years.
Alex’s remains were discovered by police at a building site where Brown worked, but no trace has ever been found of Leah’s body.
Brown met both women through the internet and was in a relationship with Leah before her disappearance. Brown owned a remote property where both women were last seen alive, with CCTV footage and mobile cell site data placing them at and around the location.
After Brown was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Alex in November 2021, police searched the building site where he worked and found her remains alongside some of her personal belongings.
Further searches of his work van led Kent Police to find prescription medicine belonging to Leah, but after an extensive investigation by Sussex Police, there was no evidence to suggest she was alive.
Brown attempted to conceal Leah’s murder by continuing to collect her medication and withdraw cash from her accounts.
Libby Clark from the CPS said: “This is a shocking and heart-breaking case of the murder of two women - Alex Morgan and Leah Ware. Brown showed utter cruelty and contempt for his victims, and his actions have left two families devastated by their loss.
“By never accepting responsibility, Brown made the families go through the ordeal of a trial, where the work of our prosecution team unpicked Brown’s deceit, including covering up Leah’s death, resulting in his conviction.
“We know nothing can make up for the loss so keenly felt by both families, but hope today’s sentence brings some comfort, as our thoughts remain with them.”
Brown pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Alex, but continued to deny any involvement in Leah’s disappearance, alternating between claims she had passed away or that she was an inpatient at various psychiatric hospitals.
However, the overwhelming evidence in the case saw a jury at Hove Crown Court convict him of both murders.
Kate Brown, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, added: “Violence against women and girls is a blight on our society, and one the CPS is determined to eradicate.
“All women have the right to be safe and to live their lives without fear of violence.
“Our commitment to bringing perpetrators to justice is unwavering, as we continue to work alongside our criminal justice partners to tackle these horrific crimes.”
Notes to editors
• Mark Brown [DOB: 6/10/1981]
• Libby Clark is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit
• Kate Brown is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East