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Prosecutors say this man is 'guilty of murder and you can be sure of it'

Manuel Wagner, 29, denies any part in the killing of Christophe Borgye

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

A jury must decide ‘whether two or three killers’ were responsible for the murder of Christophe Borgye.

Manuel Wagner, 29, from Toxteth, is accused of being part of a sick plot to kill the Ryanair steward.

His cousin Dominik Kocher, 38, and housemate Sebastian Bendou, 39, have already been convicted and are serving life sentences.

Mr Borgye was brutally attacked with a hammer and then stabbed twice in April 2009.

His body was wrapped up in tarpaulin before being encased in concrete beneath a garden shed in Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port.

Wagner denies any involvement in the killing.

Counsel were giving their closing speeches to the trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday (June 22).

Air steward Christophe Borgye was murdered in April 2009

John McDermott QC, prosecuting, 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.

“We say that the true verdict against Manuel Wagner is he is guilty of murder and you can be sure of it.”

Mr Borgye lived with Bendou and Wagner at the house in Hylton Court.

The ‘ringmaster’ Kocher lived across the street with his family across the street.

It was more than four years before Bendou, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, went to the police to confess.

Sebastian Bendou

The Frenchman told the jury Kocher had concocted the plan to lure Mr Borgye into the kitchen before the trio took turns to attack him, with Wagner striking the first blow. It is the key evidence against the defendant.

Mark George QC, defending, said the prosecution had trusted their case to an ‘untrustworthy and unreliable’ witness.

He referred to the changes in Bendou’s version of events since he first confessed to police.

Mr George said: “You may feel sorry for someone who is suffering for such a dreadful disease.

“It is one which can play terrible tricks on the mind and distorts the thinking.

“It makes it very difficult to tell if the person is telling the truth or if it is a product of their disease and has corrupted their memory.

“The defence is asking you to be sceptical about Sebastian Bendou’s evidence.”

Wagner was cleared of assisting an offender at the trial where Kocher was convicted in 2014.

The jury never heard from Bendou on that occasion as he was awaiting his own trial.

The 29-year-old defendant claims to have been out of Hylton Court on the morning of the murder.

In his evidence he said he once helped Bendou carry a tarpaulin wrapped package to the outhouse, but he never asked what was inside.

Mr McDermott said it was for the jury to make up their mind ‘whether there are two or three killers’.

He asked them to consider the rule of three, including why the ‘leader’ Kocher had bought three paring knives in preparation for the killing.

The prosecutor said: “We suggest there are a number of reasons which point to there being three.

“We say to you Manuel Wagner was an utterly unconvincing witness and was clearly lying to you.”

The Honorary Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, is presiding in the trial.

He will sum up the case for the jury on Monday.

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