Thursday 23rd April 1992,
Pretending to be interested in buying Mathew Manwaring’s son’s
car, Laing forced his way into the family home. He shot Mr Manwaring in
the chest at close range, he then proceeded to torture, rape and then
strangle Alison. He took the bodies into the bathroom where he
He then buried the remains in his girlfriend’s garden.
After his arrest Laing had admitted
buying the car, but he told police that he left the Manwarings’ in
'good health'. When the police discovered the bodies, Laing blamed the
Fijian Freedom Fighters, a terrorist organisation, as suspected, the
organisation did not exist.
Trial starts at the Old Bailey in London, Laing is accused of double
murder, Laing protested his innocence, and changed the story at least three
times he denies the charges.
Danville Bromfield aged 30, from
Tottenham, north London, told the Old Bailey that Laing’s girlfriend, Sharon
Thompson asked him to give Benjamin Laing an alibi, even though he had
never met him. 'She asked me to do a favour, to help an innocent person
who had got into trouble.
During his trial, Laing said he
had been framed by Mark Leslie, his best friend, Neil Philips, another
friend and Frank Cohen, a car thief. The prosecution told the jury Mr
Cohen was 'a figment of Laing's imagination'.
The jury took only 4 hours to
reach a unanimous verdict, finding Laing guilty of two murders, that of
Mr Mathew Manwaring and his daughter Alison Manwaring.
Judge Robert Lymbery QC told Laing that he destroyed a family to
satisfy his 'desire for enrichment'. He also added: 'You are a dangerous
man capable of extreme violence. You are utterly ruthless. I have no
alternative but to recommend you serve a minimum of 25 years.'
Laing had two previous convictions for armed robbery and deception