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Housemate convicted of chilling Christophe Borgye murder and burying victim under a shed in Ellesmere Port

The victim's body was found buried in a concrete tomb

Air steward Christophe Borgye was murdered in April 2009

A kitchen porter has been found guilty of the brutal murder of Christophe Borgye.

Manuel Wagner, 29, was part of a sick plan to kill the Ryanair steward, 35, and bury him under a garden shed in Ellesmere Port.

Wagner, from Toxteth, joins his cousin Dominik Kocher, 38, and Sebastian Bendou, 39, in being convicted.

The trio lured Mr Borgye into the kitchen before attacking him with knives and a hammer at the house in Hylton Court in April 2009.

 

His body was then wrapped up in tarpaulin before being encased in a concrete chamber beneath the outhouse.

Wagner had previously been cleared of assisting an offender and preventing a lawful burial in 2014.

But finally his horrific involvement in the crime has caught up.

Manuel Wagner(Image: Ian Cooper)

In the previous case the trial never heard Bendou's account of the murder, in which he claimed the defendant struck the first blow.

Bendou said: “I was in the corridor and heard Manuel hit the first blow with a hammer.

“I had a paring knife in my pocket. I knew I had to follow him.

“I went into the kitchen and saw Manuel hit him a further 10 times. Christophe was shouting ‘Stop! Stop!’.

“Then it was my turn. I grabbed hold of Manuel’s hammer and gave him three hits as he fell to the floor.

“I gave the fatal blow.”

A jury returned their unanimous guilty verdict after four hours of deliberations in the three-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court which came to an end on Wednesday (June 28).

Wagner, who was 21 at the time, had denied any involvement in the killing.

He had claimed to police he thought Mr Borgye was 'living happily ever after' with a girlfriend in China.

Mr Borgye had been close to moving out as he had been due to transfer to Belgium with his job shortly after he was killed.

The defendant appealed to the jury he had been out of the house on the morning of the murder.

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

John McDermott QC, prosecuting, labelled him an 'utterly unconvincing witness' who was 'clearly lying'.

He said: “We say as simply as we can the evidence in this case points unerringly to Manuel Wagner’s presence in and around Hylton Court that day.

“We know the murder took place in the kitchen that morning and he must have been part of it."

In reality Wagner lived for another three years at the address where his victim was buried. He had gone to buy the cement and stone for the grave with his accomplices.

The three of them even went to lunch at Chiquito's at Cheshire Oaks after the job was done.

Mr Borgye's body was only discovered after Bendou, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, confessed what had happened to police four years later.

He led officers to the shed where the concrete grave was dug up.

Inside the wrapping, which was tied up with bungee cords, were two paring knives and the handle of another, the hammer and also the SIM card for the victim's phone.

Wagner's defence team had tried to cast doubt on Bendou's evidence, saying his illness 'can play terrible tricks on the mind'.

The 29-year-old German national sat with head bowed as the guilty verdict was returned.

Wagner will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court at 12.30pm today (June 28).

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