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Alleged murderer of Christophe Borgye thought victim was 'living happily ever after in China'

Manuel Wagner denies being part of a plot to kill the Ryanair steward and bury him under a shed

Air steward Christophe Borgye was murdered in April 2009

Christophe Borgye’s alleged killer thought he was ‘living happily ever after’ in China, a court heard.

Manuel Wagner, 29, told police he had no idea what happened to the Ryanair steward when he disappeared in April 2009.

Wagner is accused of helping his cousin Dominik Kocher and housemate Sebastian Bendou to murder Mr Borgye.

The 35-year-old victim was found buried in cement beneath a shed at Hylton Court in Ellesmere Port.

The concrete chamber was only discovered after Bendou, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, came clean and led cops right to it four years later.

Wagner, from Toxteth, was questioned as a witness by investigating officers a few days after.

Manuel Wagner is accused of being involved in the murder of Christophe Borgye(Image: Ian Cooper)

Kim Halsall, prosecuting, led the trial at Liverpool Crown Court through transcripts of this interview.

The accused told police: “Christophe had told me he had met an Asian girl and he wasn’t happy with his job.

“When I woke up (on the morning of Mr Borgye’s disappearance) he was gone. He didn’t say anything.

“Since then he just stopped contacting us. I thought he was living happily ever after in China.”

Bendou, 39, initially told cops he alone had killed Mr Borgye in self defence before later changing his statement.

Earlier in the trial he told the jury it was Wagner who struck the first blow as the trio attacked.

Mr Borgye was hit over the head with a hammer and stabbed twice in the throat before his body was wrapped up and sealed under the outhouse.

Wagner denies having any involvement in the twisted plot.

After he was arrested on suspicion of murder, officers quizzed him on his reaction to Mr Borgye being found.

Wagner said: “I didn’t play any part in disposing of his body.

“I was shocked and shaking.

“I couldn’t believe it. Christophe and I lived together for a long time. I considered him more of a friend than a housemate.”

Crime scene at Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port(Image: Ian Cooper)

Wagner added he had believed Mr Borgye was safe in China as Kocher, 38, told him he had spoken with the victim’s brother by email.

The defendant and Bendou continued to live at the house in Hylton Court for more than two years after the victim disappeared.

Mr Borgye’s room was cleared out less than a month after he was last seen and a succession of new housemates used his room, the court heard.

Kocher along with his wife and three children lived across the street.

As a tight-knit group of seven they moved to Warrington and then Dumfries before Christmas 2012.

Kocher and Bendou are both currently serving life sentences over Mr Borgye’s death after being convicted in separate trials.

Wagner denies a charge of murder.

The trial, which is now into its second week, continues.

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