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Mechanic jailed for killing bomb disposal expert who worked for Princess Diana charity

A car mechanic who beat a former bomb disposal expert to death because he owed him £17,000 has been jailed.

Colin Gale (40) from Worthing, West Sussex, was found guilty of manslaughter after killing Mark Manning (54) - and hiding his body for two years - in April 2014.

Gale was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in jail at Lewes Crown Court.

He got Stewart Robertson (50) of Portslade, to help dispose of his corpse in dense undergrowth.

Robertson was jailed for four years for preventing lawful burial.

Judge Shani Barnes said of Gale: “It seems to me that the real point is this was a sustained attack.”

Manning, a dad-of-two, who worked for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which removes landmines in some of the world’s warzones and was supported by Princess Diana, was reported missing in 2014.

The court heard that Gale, a mechanic, hit Manning, who was also a car dealer, with a wrench during a row over the money he owed him.

Prosecutors told the jury a row over the debt owed to Manning from the sale of two vehicles ended with Gale deciding to “finish him off” at P&B Car Sales in Western Road, Lancing.

Gale denied the murder and claimed he acted in self-defence.

He said Manning turned up at his garage and swung an axe at him, leading Gale to pick up a metre-long industrial wrench and hit him at least three or four times.

Manning’s body was found after Robertson told police, following his arrest in May 2016, that the corpse had been dumped on land at Hampshire Hill, near Slaugham.

Gale later admitted preventing the lawful burial of Manning’s body.

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