Beheaded Traveller 'Received Death Threat From His Son'
BEHEADED traveller John Finney received a death threat from his son prior to his kidnap and murder, a court has heard. The naked, headless and handless body of Mr Finney, 42, was found behind a garage block in Ickleford, near Hitchin, on March 14 last ye
BEHEADED traveller John Finney received a death threat from his son prior to his kidnap and murder, a court has heard.
The naked, headless and handless body of Mr Finney, 42, was found behind a garage block in Ickleford, near Hitchin, on March 14 last year.
At the time of his abduction on February 29 last year, father-of-four Mr Finney, of Park Farm, Northaw, was involved in a relationship with seafood stallholder Mandy Vineall.
Appearing at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Monday), Ms Vineall spoke about the threatening phone calls that the victim had received before his disappearance.
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She told the court: "He said he was getting calls from a withheld number saying they wanted their gear back.
"He assumed that they was talking about drugs."
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She added: "He didn't know what they was talking about."
Ms Vineall also revealed she had been with Mr Finney when he had received one such call.
She said: "I never overheard anything, but John was saying 'come down, bring baseball bats, whatever you want'.
"Whoever was on the phone said 'we won't be bringing baseball bats, we'll be putting a lump of lead in you'."
In cross-examination, Michael Wolkind QC, for the defence, asked if Mr Finney's family "disagreed" with their relationship, which began after the breakdown of his 20-year marriage.
"Yes they did," she said.
He went on: "People from the unity of travellers, they do disapprove of marriages breaking up, especially when children are involved?"
"Yes," she replied.
Mr Wolkind then said: "He (Mr Finney's son, John) said he would kill his father first and you would be next.
"He said he would cut your throat."
Ms Vineall replied: "That was from a phone call."
The four defendants are Mark Curran, 35, of Audley Close, Muswell Hill; Norman Jones, 50, of Princess Park Manor, New Barnet; his son Joseph Jones, 24, of Harlech Road, New Barnet; and Gary Mark Lattimore, 40, of Little Heath Road, Bexleyheath.
They all deny murder.
The case continues.