An alleged killer who is accused of dismembering a ‘brilliant’ jazz musician just hours before he murdered another man searched Google for Breaking Bad tips on how to dissolve a body in acid, the Old Bailey heard today.
Simon Emmons, 40, allegedly cut off William Algar’s limbs, wrapped his severed head and torso in sheets, and buried them in a nature reserve on December 18, 2019.
He is accused of helping a 19-year-old, alone charged with the murder of 53-year-old trumpeter Mr Algar, cover-up the killing which allegedly took place at the victim’s home in Barnes, south-west London earlier that month.
Emmons and the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are accused of then murdering Ebrima Cham, 35, in a ‘ferocious and frenzied’ stabbing the next day.
Jurors have been told the victims were targeted over a bitter drugs feud after they became involved in the supply of heroin and fell into debt with the alleged killers.
Simon Emmons, 40, allegedly butchered William Algar (pictured), wrapped his severed head and torso in sheets, and buried them in a nature reserve on December 18, 2019
Mr Algar was reported missing by his 93-year-old mother on January 2, 2020 after he failed to visit her for Christmas, the Old Bailey was told.
Police made the gruesome discovery of his head and torso wrapped in bedsheets at his flat, which had been transformed into a ‘trap house’ by the alleged drugs gang.
When they arrested Emmons on Boxing Day in relation to Mr Cham’s death, they recovered a series of internet searches about getting rid of a body on his phone.
On December 17, the device had been used to browse: ‘Can acid dissolve a body?’ Ten minutes later he allegedly searched for techniques seen in the US TV series Breaking Bad, typing: ‘Hydroflouric acid/Breaking Bad wiki.’
Prosecuting, Crispin Aylett today said: ‘Those of you who have watched Breaking Bad will recall that the two main characters tried to dispose of two bodies by dissolving them in a bath of acid.’ In the show, the bath used to try and get rid of a gangster’s body crashes through the floor into the room below.
Prosecutors claim Emmons and the teenager then travelled to another property in Hounslow, where they stabbed Mr Cham 11 times at 11.25am the next day.
They were joined in carrying out the second brutal hit by a third defendant, Zimele Dube, 33, who also denies murder, jurors have heard.
Jayano Lucima, 18, is accused of helping the two men carry out the ‘grim’ clean-up job by buying J-cloths and bleach and running errands for them.
When they were done at the flat, the pair allegedly hailed a cab to Hounslow Heath and shoved a suitcase carrying the victim’s legs and arms in the boot.
They were joined in the burial by a third man, Marc Harding, 45, who has admitted perverting the course of justice and is not standing trial, the court was told.
Police forensics teams enter a tent at Mr Algar’s home in Barnes, south-west London
Mr Algar’s limbs were then found by police dogs during a search at the nature reserve in January last year. Opening the tragic case, Mr Aylett warned jurors the details called for ‘strong stomachs.’
Describing the appalling discovery of Mr Algar’s body, the prosecutor said: ‘PC Callue and PC Wills found the house in darkness. Looking through a window, it was apparent to PC Callue that nobody had lived there for a while.
‘They went around the back – where they found an open window to the living room. The officers climbed through the window and began to look around. In the bathroom, PC Callue saw a footprint in blood.
‘There was blood splattered across the floor; there was more blood in the hallway. When the officers re-traced their steps to the living room, they came across an item on the floor wrapped in bed sheets.
‘Whatever it was, it was about four feet long and a foot high. I am afraid that this is a case that calls for strong stomachs. As PC Wills began to unwrap the sheets, blood began to seep through. The sheets turned out to have been wrapped around a partly dismembered and decomposing human body.
The sheets contained the head and torso – but no more than that – of William Algar. In the post-mortem examination that followed, the pathologist was able to establish the cause of death: William Algar had been stabbed in the chest.
‘In the police investigation that followed, the police found out that Mr Algar had been involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
‘The drug-dealing world is one of rivalries, robberies and turf-wars. And when drug dealers fall out, they do not take their problems to the police.
Jurors have been told Mr Algar (pictured) was targeted over a bitter drugs feud after he became involved in the supply of heroin and fell into debt with the alleged killers
‘Instead, they take things into their own hands – usually with violence and often ending in either death or serious injury.
‘The prosecution suggest that the murder of William Algar has its roots in drug-dealing. The prosecution allege that Mr Algar fell out with the first defendant, the 19-year-old. In the course of an argument, teenager stabbed Mr Algar in the chest.
‘As the police began to unravel Mr Algar’s involvement in drug-dealing, so they realized that there was a link between the death of William Algar and another murder that had been committed in Hounslow about a week before Christmas 2019.
‘On the morning of 19 December 2019, three men had gone to a flat in Hounslow where they had stabbed to death a man named Ebrima Cham. The evidence suggests Mr Algar had been murdered at the very beginning of December.
‘After that, Mr Algar’s body had lain inside his flat until the night of Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 December. It was then that the 19-year-old and the second defendant, Simon Emmons, had dismembered the body.
‘The teenager and Emmons cleaned up the flat as best they could. This was done with the assistance of the fourth defendant, Jayano Lucima, who purchased the cleaning products – bleach, J-cloths and the like and ran errands for them.’
Detailing the horrific killing of Mr Cham, Mr Aylett told the court: ‘In a ferocious and frenzied assault he was stabbed 11 times. His head was also slashed and cut a number of times.’
The 19-year-old, of no fixed address, denies two counts of murder. He was absent from the dock today as his three co-defendants sat flanked by Serco guards.
Jurors heard he has admitted perverting the course of justice in relation to transporting Mr Algar’s limbs from his home.
Emmons, of no fixed address, denies perverting the course of justice and murdering Mr Cham. Dube, of Wembley, also denies murdering Mr Cham.
Lucima, of Isleworth, denies perverting the course of justice. Jurors have heard Harding admits perverting the course of justice and is not standing trial.
The trial continues.