Man Jailed for Life for Murder

13 January 2011, 14:57 | Updated: 13 January 2011, 15:02

A drug dealer was stabbed 19 times and his body buried in a shallow grave on the site of a new bypass.

Zafar Khaliq, 43, was killed after he called his associate Wayne Grimes "a dirty smack head," a court heard.

36 year old Grimes (pictured) wrapped the body in plastic bags and stored it a bed at his flat, where his girlfriend noticed blood seeping out.

He then arranged for it to be transferred from his flat in Bagenal Lane, Abbots Langley, Herts to the site of the new A421 bypass close to Manor Farm at Brogborough in Bedfordshire - 30 miles away.

In the early hours of the morning Grimes took the body from the car and Kieron O'Brien, a digger driver who worked at the site, created a shallow grave where it was buried. He then used the digger to back fill the site.

Grimes pleaded guilty at St Albans crown court to murdering Mr Khaliq on 10 July and obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty. He was jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 17 years 192 days.

Kieran O'Brien, 29, of Peasecroft Road, Hemel Hempstead pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and obstructing the coroner at an earlier hearing. He is due to be sentenced next week.

Prosecutor Ann Evans said Mr Khaliq, a father of four from Wood Green, North London dealt in Class A drugs. He was separated from his wife and has one child at university.

Privately-educated Wayne Grimes worked with him from August 209. In the weeks before the murder she said Khaliq, who did not take drugs or drink himself, became concerned about the level of Grimes' drug addiction and demanded that he clean himself up.

Grimes, a father of two,  was to tell his girlfriend Tina Howard that Khaliq had called him a "dirty smack head." She told the police that Grimes said Khaliq treated him like a lad and had smacked him. She was to say that whilst at the flat after the killing saw blood seeping out from a bin liner under the bed.

His barrister John Hilton QC alleged that while they were cutting up drugs in Grimes' flat they had become involved in an argument. He claimed Khaliq had gone for Grimes with a knife, causing a cut to his hand. He said Grimes had taken the knife from him and caused the fatal injuries including wounds to his heart and aorta.

Mrs Evans said that after the killing Grimes had gone to Asda in Watford and bought cleaning products including latex gloves, Cillit Bang, bleach, Vanish and Fairy, to remove blood from the flat.

But after his arrest police found extensive spots of blood in the lounge/bedroom of Grimes' flat.

Early on 15 July - five days after the killing - the body was transferred up the M1. Grimes pulled the body from the boot of the car and at around 2.40 in the morning O'Brien used a works digger to dig a trench.

Grimes himself had dropped the murder weapon down a drain near his home in Abbots Langley.

Khaliq was reported missing to the Met Police on Thursday July 15. Police contacted his associates and Grimes was arrested. O'Brien admitted his role and took officers to the grave.

Jailing Grimes, Judge Stephen Gullick said: "Although he was deeply involved in drug dealing nothing can justify what you did."