This incorporates the following questions asked:
“On the MOJ site you originally linked to, the concrete is referred to as mortar. Is this a mistake, because mortar is just a mixture of cement and sand, so it seems strange that 3 layers of this relatively weak material was used to underpin the foundations?”
“Mark took delivery of concrete and had it laid over the exact spot where his father had been buried. Is that a coincidence too far?”
When the samples were analysed by a Chartered Engineer and Geologist we discovered that the bottom three layers in which the body had been hidden were in fact made of mortar rather than concrete, and comprised of “sea dredged sand bound by Portland cement and pulverized-fuel ash” in “mix proportions of about 1:3 by volume”. I had no hand in these. By contrast, by the time I became involved I was using concrete not mortar, because the whole purpose of the site was to underpin the garage. This fourth and final layer was comprised of “crushed micro-granite coarse aggregate.”
When I arrived there was nothing unusual looking about the site at all. It had a completely smooth base and I just assumed it was some kind of specialist foundation for the underpinning. It makes me feel sick knowing I was only feet away from the horrors lurking beneath. It’s a horrible and cruel realization, but of course there was always building work going on around the house back then, so I was used to finding new things popping up here and there. As one neighbour commented “I would notice different jobs had been completed on the house, but I would never see anybody doing them…I would see bricks outside his house and not think anything of it”(AW). It was almost inevitable that I would be involved in some small way at some stage or other because we tried to save money by doing what we could ourselves. Why would I suspect anything as macabre as this? It just doesn’t even cross your mind. I didn’t believe it when the police told me, and I can still hardly believe it now.
It’s really telling that the layers in which they buried dad weren’t made of concrete. This simple difference in the materials demonstrates that the work must have been carried out by two different people, because the same person wouldn’t use different types of cement mix on the same job.
There are other clues to this as well. I ordered a truckload of concrete for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, in my own name. The truck was blocking the road, and I stood there waving cars by. The haulier was with me the whole time, but the people who laid the mortar before me did so discreetly: nobody saw them working, so they must have gone out of their way not to attract attention to themselves.
I am not a builder. I knew next to nothing about this kind of work and I am not physically built for the job. In the haulier’s words, “I remember thinking he was out of his depth. He looked as though he had never used a wheelbarrow before. He clearly didn’t have a clue what he was doing.” So when the experts compared the concrete to the mortar, they described my efforts as “less well compacted and more voided at the upper and edge surfaces, which suggests a non-specialist installation, and the absence of shuttering”: amateur in other words. But the mortar, by comparison was “consistently well-mixed”, with clear evidence of techniques like leveling, shuttering, and compacting having been used. The mix quality, consistency (both thoroughness of mixing and degree of compaction) of the various mortar layers suggests preparation by an experienced person. So not only were the materials different but the expertise and methods used were completely unalike.
The other thing to point out is that the entire house was basically a building site. There were materials strewn all over the place on pallets and in canvas bags, with dozens of separate worksites. Ths site where my rather was found was the last of 3 separate areas of underpinning. Previously there had been a row of trees along the boundary which my father had sought permission to take down. We only found evidence for this after my trial. His application read: “The trees now pose a visible threat to the foundations of the house and garage”. When the police excavated the site they found that tree roots had been cut away to make way for it. The Forensic Archaeologist responsible for the excavation commented that “the site was apparently not designed as a grave”. It was “well constructed by someone who appears to have known what they were doing”.
So on all accounts this was just a regular building site that the people who killed my father perverted for their own ends, and which I fatefully bumbled into, openly and thoughtlessly because I had nothing to hide.