Date: 27 Jan 2000
Place: Denham, Buckinghamshire
Mark Levy was thought to have been murdered at a farm.
Several people were convicted for his murder in 2002 but a retrial was ordered, and several trials followed resulting in the men being acquitted in 2007. One of the trials collapsed after a woman juror sent a message to the judge saying that some of the other jurors were badgering and intimidating other members of the jury to reach a particular verdict. In her note she said that one of the jurors had said 'Even if they're not guilty, do you really want these people to go free?'.
He was a businessman and had been a television comedian in 1998 on the programme Big Breakfast which was aired on Channel Four shortly before his death. He had appeared as an 'Arthur Daly' style character that gave advice on buying cars. He was also described as a luxury car salesman.
He was from Ware in Hertfordshire and was last seen on 27 January 2000 when he went off to discuss buying 12 Rolex watches. The deal was supposed to have been between Mark Levy and a jeweller from Hatton Garden who was said to have been offering Rolex watches worth about £200,000 for £45,000.
It was said that he had had a falling out with the men tried for his murder over a plan to import some tobacco in which he was said to have 'screwed' them, and that he owed them £40,000 after the deal had gone wrong. The men were said to have been major criminals involved with drug smuggling and at the time they had been under surveillance by the National Crime Squad.
It was heard that the men that they were surveilling were familiar with police surveillance techniques and as such the police were carrying out their surveillance from as far as possible to ensure that they were not spotted. The police had also fitted the men’s vehicles with electronic tracking devices so that they would always know where the vehicles were.
It was said that the men tried had lured Mark Levy to Minavil House, an industrial estate in Alperton, west London. However, the police said that because, they had stayed on the outskirts they said that they didn't know that they had met up with Mark Levy who it was said they had had a falling out with over a deal to import cigarettes. It was said then that the men had beaten him and then bound and gagged him and stuffed him into the boot of a white Mercedes car and then afterwards driven him off to the farm near Denham where they killed him in a wood and buried him in a shallow grave.
It was heard that the police, who were watching, had no idea that Mark Levy had been in the boot of the car at the time or that he was murdered at the farm. It was heard that they had watched one of the men tried filling his car with petrol at the time that it was thought that Mark Levy was tied up and in the boot.
Details of the murder were later divulged by someone else that had been at the farm at the time. However, by the time the police went to the farm two weeks later to dig up the grave, Mark Levy's body was gone. When the police went to the wood near the farm where he was said to have been buried they found the shallow grave as well as a strip of parcel tape, but his body was not there.
It was said that after killing him, Mark Levy's Mercedes car was driven to Dover where it was left to make it look like he had left the country.
Several men were arrested the following day on 28 January 2000 after a £1.2 million, 500kg, cargo of cannabis arrived in London for them from the Netherlands.
One of the main men tried for Mark Levy's murder was said to have fled to Derbyshire after the murder and to have then flown out to Malta where he was arrested a year later.
After making the arrests for cannabis smuggling the police interviewed a number of people involved in the conspiracy including a driver for the gang that told them that he thought that his boss had killed Mark Levy. He told the police that he had been ordered to go out and buy a body disposal kit which included spades, petrol, rubbish sacks, gloves and overalls. It was heard that Mark Levy had been marched out into the wood where he was killed and then set on fire and afterwards buried. The driver said that he had seen Mark Levy being marched into the woods sweating and breathing heavily. In court, the driver pleaded guilty to kidnapping.
In a statement, the police said 'The NCS cannot be held accountable for not being able to see someone in the boot of a car.'.
His wife said that she last saw Mark Levy when he went out on the morning of 27 January 2000. She said that she tried calling him at 1pm but said that he didn't answer. She said that Mark Levy had told her about the deal for some Rolex watches and said that she told him that the deal was too good to be true.
The police described Mark Levy as a wheeler dealer and said that he was involved in shadowy business dealings, sold used cars and dabbled in property.
Mark Levy had two children.
It was noted that the men that were convicted of his murder were not tried for the drug smuggling as it was thought that it would not add any more time to their prison sentences for murder. However, that meant that when they were acquitted they were both released and neither their money or assets were confiscated.
Mark Levy's body has not been found.