BREAKING NEWS: St Leonards man found guilty of murder

Mark Searle was found guilty of murdering Jason Martin-Smith at Lewes Crown Court today
Mark Searle was found guilty of murdering Jason Martin-Smith at Lewes Crown Court today

A St Leonards man has been found guilty of murdering Jason Martin-Smith in Hastings in 2001 at Lewes Crown Court today (Friday, August 21).

Mark Searle, 36, of Chambers Road, St Leonards, had denied killing Mr Martin-Smith on August 22 as well as conspiracy to kidnap, and perverting the course of justice.

A jury found him guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to two.

They also returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of conspiracy to kidnap, and found him guilty by a 10 to two majority of perverting the course of justice.

He is currently being sentenced.

Steve McNicol, 42, of Whitefriars Road, Hastings, who was charged with conspiracy to kidnap Mr Martin-Smith, was found guilty by a majority verdict of 11 to one.

McNicol was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

McNicol had originally been charged with the murder of Mr Martin-Smith but this charge was discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service at the start of the trial.

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