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Fugitive who claimed to be an undercover TV researcher found guilty of brutal killing in 2003

|News, Violent crime

A man who claimed to be an undercover TV researcher to explain why he was at the scene of a brutal torture and killing in Cheshire 18 years ago has been found guilty of the murder.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Christopher Guest More Jnr, 43, was part of a gang who tortured and killed Brian Waters at Burnt House Farm near Knutsford on 19 June 2003.

Christopher Guest Moore in 2003 and 2020
Christopher Guest Moore in 2003 (L) and 2020 (R)

The CPS said that More fled to Spain after the killing and went on the run for 16 years. He was finally found in June 2019 living under a stolen identity in Malta.  After contesting his extradition, he was returned to the UK in 2020.

The CPS said that More, who was living in Lymm at the time of the murder, was one of a gang who tortured and killed father of two Brian Waters, 44, in front of his children over a drugs debt.

Victim Brian Waters
Victim Brian Waters

Brian Waters ran a cannabis farm at Burnt House Farm and was believed to owe money to a known drug dealer, John Wilson. On 19 June 2003, the gang, organised by Mr Wilson, lay in wait at the farm for the arrival of Mr Waters.

Suleman Razak, who helped at the cannabis farm arrived at the scene first. He was seriously assaulted and went on to describe the events of that afternoon to the jury in detail. Sometime after the arrival of Razak, Brian Waters arrived.

The gang tied Mr Waters up, suspended him upside down, beat him with a metal bar and attacked him with an industrial staple gun during an horrific three-hour ordeal. Home Office Pathologist Dr Alison Armour described the pain Mr Waters must have suffered before death as ‘excruciating’. He died as a result of his injuries, aged 44.

The police received an anonymous phone call that alerted them to the violence at the farm and on arrival found the body of Mr Waters in the milking parlour. Mr Razak, badly injured, was found strapped into a chair in the cow shed. The attackers had fled the scene. 

Burnt House Farm and drug producing equipment found there
Burnt House Farm and drug producing equipment found there

Three other men were eventually charged and convicted of their parts in the murder.

Christopher More fled to Spain within two days of the murder. With the help of other people who he declined to name in evidence, he obtained a passport in a false name and moved on from Spain, travelling to a number of countries before settling in Malta.

Christopher Guest More Jnr leaving for Malaga from Liverpool John Lennon airport in the days after the murder
More leaving for Malaga from Liverpool John Lennon airport in the days after the murder

He was tracked down after being placed on the list of Europe's Most Wanted Fugitives and was found living a lavish lifestyle in luxury accommodation.

Today, 9 December 2021, a jury at Chester Crown Court found More guilty by a majority of 10 to 2, bringing to a successful conclusion years of work by the CPS and the police. He will be sentenced tomorrow, 10 December 2021, at Chester Crown Court.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “The murder of Brian Waters involved a level of violence and brutality that was truly shocking, particularly so as it took place in a quiet area of rural Cheshire.

“The fact that his children were forced to watch him being beaten and tortured is awful and has left them deeply scarred and unable to move on with their lives in a normal way.

“Christopher More claimed he cultivated a relationship with John Wilson because he was planning an undercover exposé for a TV programme about drug dealers.

“The CPS accepted More’s background in undercover TV work, but we did not believe this was why he was at Burnt House Farm on the day of the murder.

“The CPS said that, far from trying to infiltrate the gang for a documentary, More was a willing participant in Mr Wilson’s world of drugs and violence.

“On the unexpected arrival of police at the farm, the gang fled the scene, crucially leaving behind a bag of evidence that would be pivotal in identifying those involved.

“As a result of his experience in undercover work, More was forensically aware: the bag had been kept in the cow shed to store any items that would likely contain the DNA of the attackers.

“It was the CPS’s case that the attackers fully intended to take this bag with them when they left the scene. However with the sudden arrival of the police, the bag was left behind.

“The defendant’s DNA was found on a number of items within the bag including cigarette butts and a drinks bottle.

“Once the defendant was linked by this DNA, a careful analysis was carried out of the movement and calls of the mobile phone More was using at the time.

“This revealed that More had conducted previous surveillance on the Waters family, following Gavin Waters from the family home in Nantwich to the location of the cannabis farm in Tabley.

“ It also revealed the phones of More and convicted murderers Matthews and Raven had all been in the South Cheshire area the evening before the murder: the CPS said this was to check on the Waters family ahead of the plans for 19 June.”

Building the case

Nicola said: "This has been a complex case involving events from 16 years ago. This murder happened soon after I began my career as a CPS prosecutor in 2003 and to be given the case in 2019 as police worked to bring the last outstanding defendant to justice was daunting.

“The CPS file from the previous prosecutions was delivered to me in 64 boxes. There were thousands of statements and exhibits and over 30,000 unused documents to review. The case involved working with other police forces and other law enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency.

“The memories of many of the witnesses had faded and a lot of the people who had worked on the original case had retired.

“Despite the boxes from the previous trials, we had to look at the case with fresh eyes. The evidence eventually presented to the jury was only the tip of the iceberg. The scale of the investigation generated an almost overwhelming amount of material that all needed to be reviewed.

“It has been a huge task to bring this case to court, obtain convictions and secure justice for the Waters family and Mr Razak. The CPS would like to thank Mr Waters’ family for their help in this prosecution and all the witnesses for their part.”

Following the verdict, Detective Inspector Kate Tomlinson, who led the murder investigation, said: “Today, Christopher Guest More Jr has finally been found guilty of his part in the brutal murder of Brian Waters at Burnt House Farm on 19 June 2003.  He fled the UK two days after the incident and stole another man’s identity in a bid to evade justice. We never gave up hope of finding him over the years and the guilty verdict marks a significant point in a long and painful road for all those involved.

“The level of violence used against the victims in this case was absolutely shocking. As police officers we are used to dealing with violent crime – but the barbaric nature of this attack is something that you never forget. When you look at what happened at the farm that day, and what those men did, it feels like something you only ever see in the movies. It doesn’t feel like something that could ever happen in real life – let alone in rural Cheshire.”

Notes to editors

  • In 2004 John Wilson and James Raven were found guilty of murdering Brian Waters and two counts of conspiracy to cause Grievous Bodily Harm to Mr Razak
  • In 2007, Otis Matthews was found guilty of the same offences.
John Wilson, James Raven and Otis Matthews
John Wilson, James Raven and Otis Matthews

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