Hired killer suspect was 'walking fast', jury told

A composite image showing Allen Morgan and his second wife Margaret Morgan
Allen Morgan and his second wife Margaret Morgan both deny the alleged conspiracy to murder Carol Morgan [BBC]

An unknown hitman who police believe murdered a shopkeeper was "walking quite fast" on the day the woman died, a court has heard.

Prosecutors have said Carol Morgan, 36, was struck in the head with an axe or machete at her shop in Linslade, Bedfordshire, in 1981.

Her husband Allen Morgan, 73, and his now second wife Margaret Morgan, 75, were having an affair at the time and hired the hitman, jurors have been told.

A woman told their trial at Luton Crown Court she was speaking to a friend in a phone box when she saw the man "walking quite fast and looking about him".

The Morgans, who now live in Woodingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, are on trial accused of conspiracy to murder.

The witness said she was in Cedars Way on 13 August 1981 when the man caught her eye.

She confirmed the details she gave in a statement made at the time were correct.

"He was parked just outside the telephone box and I could see a dark green Ford Estate car," she told the court.

She continued talking to her friend as she watched the man carrying two full plastic bags, the witness recalled.

As he reached the bonnet of the car he dropped one of the bags and she saw two or three £1 notes, a £5 note and coins.

She told her friend what she had seen and he apparently said "as a joke 'knock him on the head - is he a big bloke?' and I said, 'he's bigger than you'".

A grainy archive image of the grocery store
The prosecution has told the court the killer had “inside knowledge” about where money was kept in the couple's shop [BBC]

The court was told "he did not stop looking around him" as he opened the car and pushed the bags into its door.

The witness recognised the branded bags as similar to those available in the convenience shop.

She described the man as about 21 years old, 5ft 7in to 5ft 8in (1.76m) tall, of slim build and with light brown or mousey wavy hair.

He was dressed in a white shirt, blue denims and a black belt and "had wide nostrils that I can only describe as pig nosed", she said.

The trial continues.

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