Three months before trial, Jonathan Sandiford QC took over the prosecution of H for living on the earnings of prostitution; murder and perverting the course of justice.
In 2001-2002 the then 40 year old defendant physically abused and exploited his 17-19 year old girlfriend, R to satisfy his own drug misuse.
In 2002 H killed R in 2002 and disposed of her body on farmland. R’s was not discovered for 10 years by which time there were only skeletal remains.
The trial was listed for 3 months due to complexities arising from the inability to scientifically ascertain the cause of death; the need to call a large number of witnesses and because there was a deep pool of known and unknown suspects who had to be excluded as being responsible for R’s death.
H also made a substantial application to stay the indictment as an abuse of process on the grounds of delay and difficulties with the investigation causing him not to have been identified as a suspect and arrested until 2014.
The application for a stay was successfully opposed and, having always denied responsibility for the killing, H pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the other offences on the day of his trial.