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Two men and a woman were found guilty on Friday (21 December), following a seven week trial at Hove Crown Court, for their part in the murder and disappearance of Gary Hampson, 42, from Portslade, who went missing in January 2011.
Daniel Alexander, 62, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He also pleaded guilty to two robberies that took place around the same time.
Roy Bartup, 58, of Natal Road, Brighton and Linda Rosenberg, 68, of Montpelier Road, Brighton, were both found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Alan Topping, 50, of HMP Lewes, was found not guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley of Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the murder enquiry, said: "This is the first time Sussex Police has secured a murder conviction without the victim's body being found. It has, therefore, been one of the most complex investigations that I have worked on in my career and I am delighted that after a long and intense trial justice has been done.
"The three defendants showed no remorse for their actions throughout the trial and sought to blame others and mislead the court about the nature of Gary's death and subsequent disposal of his body. In the case of Rosenberg, this was done in an attempt to frustrate the investigation and cover up her partner's (Daniel Alexander) role in Gary's death and disposal of his body. Bartup helped dispose of Gary and helped Alexander clear up the crime scene.
"Gary's family and friends have been put through the torment of a prolonged and difficult trial and denied any form of closure due to his body not being found. I would appeal again to anyone who knows the whereabouts of Gary's body to please get in touch. You can call 101 and quote Operation Jubilee or leave a message anonymously with the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Any new lines of enquiry will be investigated."
On hearing the guilty verdicts the mother of Gary's daughter said: "The last two years have been extremely difficult for Gary's family and friends, but most particularly for his children. His daughter, who is now 11, idolised her father and this verdict will go some way to providing the closure that she needs and so dearly craves. All we ask and pray now is that the guilty parties or those associated with them, will disclose the last, vital missing piece of information so that Gary may finally be laid to rest.
"We are grateful to the court, Sussex Police and to everybody involved in investigating and prosecuting this sad case for their time and attention and for ensuring that justice has prevailed.
"With the culprits having been found guilty and now imprisoned, I urge and plead for anyone who may have information as to where Gary's remains are located to come forward in order to help my daughter reach full closure and so that she may finally attempt to start rebuilding her life.
Daniel Alexander was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment; Bartup was jailed for eight years for perverting the course of justice plus a further year for a charge of possessing an offensive weapon and Rosenberg received a three year prison sentence.
Gary Hampson was reported missing in January 2011 after he failed to meet his then 10-year-old daughter, despite being in regular contact with her. Detectives launched a murder investigation, following the discovery of his blood at the garage he managed in Little Western Street, Brighton.