MURDER TRIAL: Wallasey victim Mark Reissing 'stabbed to death over drug debt'

Wirral Globe: Mark Reissing Mark Reissing

A WALLASEY man was stabbed to death in a dispute over a drugs debt, a jury was told today.

Victim Mark Reissing had been given drugs to sell on credit by dealer Nazzareno Abela but after he may not have had the money to pay him back he was killed, it was alleged.

His body was discovered shortly before 6am on July 9 last year slumped in Manor Lane off the promenade in Egremont by a dog-walker - but he had suffered his fatal injuries elsewhere.

Stuart Driver, QC, prosecuting, alleged that Abela and Geoffrey Allen had murdered him. "They didn't do it there, by the river. He was attacked in another street and then, when he was dead or dying, moved in a car to that quiet place and left there."

He told a jury of eight men and four women at Liverpool Crown Court that CCTV footage showed 48-year-old Mr Reissing meeting and walking together with Abela and Allen in Rice Hey Road, Wallasey, shortly after midnight.

"That is the last CCTV of Mark Reissing alive - because then, in that street he was attacked and fatally injured," claimed Mr Driver.

Neighbours heard the attack and a man shouting 'get off me' and a voice shouting 'get him in the car'. The car was Abela's silver Vauxhall Astra estate and it was used to drive the injured man away eventually to where his body was left.

Abela, 46, of Springfield Place, Wallasey, and Allen, 40, of Rice Hey Road, Wallasey, both deny murder.

Alongside them in the dock is Christopher Halpin, 30, of Roscommon Street, Everton.

He has pleaded not guilty to two offences of assisting an offender involving disposing of the Astra and providing a vehicle, both with intent to impede the apprehension of Abela.

He also denies being concerned in supplying Class A drugs between January 1 and July 17, last year.

Mr Driver alleged that Abela had been working selling cocaine and heroin for Halpin, who he described as "a bigger drug dealer".

He told the court that the victim was attacked with at least two weapons, one like a knife causing a number of stab wounds to his legs and head and a blunt object such as a piece of wood.

"He had grip marks on his arms and a fracture inside his throat that could be caused by someone pressing his neck. The stab wounds to his legs caused severe, rapid bleeding and led to his death," he claimed.

Forensic scientists found evidence that after Mr Reissing had been killed and dumped Allen allowed Abela into his flat there they attempted "a clean-up job to remove evidence off what had been done."

Blood staining in Rice Hey Road showed that was where Mr Reissing was attacked and his blood was found outside and inside the house where Allen lived and inside his flat and on his shoe.

It was also found on Abela's T-shirt, which had been discarded in a bin in the road, in his car and at his sister's home.

When interviewed Allen claimed that Abela carried out the attack and he just watched and took no part. "The prosecution do not accept that. Our case is that Allen was also involved and played a part int he attack," said Mr Driver.

Allen said that he was afraid of Abela and after Abela dumped the body he helped him including giving him clean clothes and allowing him to bathe.

Halpin allegedly arranged for another man to drive the Astra to Liverpool where it was found on fire that evening and he also provided him with a white Transit van which Abela used to drive to Aberdeen, said Mr Driver.

Abela handed himself into a Liverpool police station on July 18 and when interviewed made no comment.

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, continues.

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