A lawyer plotted to cover up a murder carried out by her fugitive boyfriend and another man after their alleged victim’s body was discovered in a bin shed, a court has been told.
Suzanne John is accused of using her expertise as a criminal law solicitor to conceal the killing of Justin Bello in November 2019.
Bello, 38, was choked inside a flat belonging to John’s boyfriend, Stasious Scott, the Old Bailey was told.
His body was then stripped and “unceremoniously” dumped in a bin shed in Wembley, northwest London, where it was found by refuse collectors 48 hours later, it is claimed.
Scott fled the country four days after the killing.
John appeared at the Old Bailey alongside Scott’s co-accused, Cornell Burrell, and several others who are charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Referring to John as he opened the trial on Monday, Joel Smith said: “The prosecution case is that her profession will have given her an insight into the method of police investigations, which is likely to have been very valuable to Scott and Burrell as they set about trying to cover up.”
Although the alleged motive for the killing is unclear, Mr Smith said it is known that Mr Bello left his home on Friday 22 November and travelled to Scott’s flat in Stockwell, southwest London.
They ‘literally wanted to get away with murder’
The court how his body was found stuffed in a black suitcase after a binman noticed feet sticking out of it.
From the moment of Mr Bello’s death, Scott, Burrell, their associates and members of Scott’s family went to “great lengths” to hide what happened from police, it is alleged.
“Their efforts culminated in Mr Bello’s body being transported from Stockwell to Wembley just after midnight on November 25, where it was unceremoniously dumped in the bin shed, where it was found a few hours later,” Mr Smith said.
“Having killed Mr Bello, Scott and Burrell quite literally wanted to get away with murder.”
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Despite claims the flat where the killing took place was thoroughly cleaned, police managed to identify a stain from Mr Bello’s blood on a rolled-up rug and a lock knife with Burrell’s fingerprints on it, Mr Smith said.
The prosecutor suggested that to strangle Mr Bello – a 6ft 1in man weighing nearly 15 stone – the two alleged killers had the advantage of being two on one.
Burrell, 36, from Wandsworth, south London, has denied murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, along with John, from Mitcham, south London, and five others.
They are Scott’s father, Oliver Scott, 53, from Hornsey, north London; half-brother Paris Bell-McKay, 28, from southwest London; Dawit Girmay, 34, from Lambeth, south London; Cecilia Bruce-Annan, 50, from Stanmore, northwest London; and Christopher Hatton, 44, of no fixed address.
The trial continues.