'I was a look-out during drug deal' says accused

PUBLISHED: 11:13 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

Murder victim: Fred Moss

Murder victim: Fred Moss

THE man accused of murdering traveller Fred Moss told a jury that the last time he saw him he was being driven off in a car with three drug dealers. Christopher Nudds told the trial that Mr Moss had asked him to act as a look out while the deal took place

THE man accused of murdering traveller Fred Moss told a jury that the last time he saw him he was being driven off in a car with three drug dealers. Christopher Nudds told the trial that Mr Moss had asked him to act as a look out while the deal took place. Nudds said the last time he saw Mr Moss the murder victim was sitting in the back of a Mercedes car as it drove out of a car park at Steeple Morden. He was giving evidence at Northampton Crown Court where he denied murdering Mr Moss, whose body has never been found. Nudds said in the days that followed and as a massive search involving the travelling community got under way for Mr Moss with a £125,000 reward being offered, he didn't tell his family what he had seen because he did not want to implicate himself in the drugs deal. The prosecution alleged that Nudds, 26 of Stocking Pelham, lured Mr Moss to a remote spot in the countryside, shot him dead and cut up his body. His remains were then allegedly placed on wooden pallets and set alight. William Harbage QC, prosecuting, said the killing took place on Tuesday November 30, 2004 on isolated arable land at Highfield Farm, near Litlington. While in custody Nudds is alleged to have said to a cell-mate that the killing of Mr Moss was "100 per cent personal." The jury was told that traces of blood containing Mr Moss's DNA was found in the boot of Nudds's car, as well as on a large knife and a hacksaw blade found at his home. Nudds told the jury that he had met Mr Moss in 2001 at a farm in Aldbury and they shared an interest in hare coursing. They would often go into the countryside together with Fred's dogs. Nudds said he got close to Mr Moss, telling the jury: "I regarded him like a brother. He did seem very close to his family. He then claimed Mr Moss asked him in 2003 to loan him £10,000, James Sturman QC, defending, asked him: "Did you lend him the money?" Nudds: "No" Mr Sturman: "Why not?" Nudds answered: "He said it was involving drugs. This was in 2003 sometime. I think he was trying to dabble in it. I didn't like talking about it so I used to try and get him off the subject." The jury heard Nudds say how he had met the traveller by chance on the day of his disappearance at the A120 Vetinary Centre. "He seemed a bit cagey, concerned. He asked me if I would be a look-out for him," said Nudds. He said that Mr Moss then told him how he had arranged to meet someone at the Silver Bull cafe at Royston. "It was relating to some sort of drugs deal," he told the jury. Nudds told the court how Mr Moss told him he would try to have the meeting near Highfield Farm where Nudds was going later that morning as part of his work. About lunchtime he said he saw Mr Moss parked up in his own van near the farm. "He said he was meeting someone, but the meeting was going to be in a recreational car park. Nudds said he thought the meeting was about a drug deal. "He didn't tell me, but I know heron was involved because that is what he told me some time ago when he asked me for the money. "He knew I didn't want anything to do with drugs." He said he told Mr Moss he was prepared to sit in his own vehicle some distance away "just to see what was going on." He continued: "I sat in my vehicle and I could see other cars in the car park. A few minutes later I glanced up and a vehicle was coming out, a charcoal grey Mercedes. There were two people in the front and two people in the back. Fred Moss was in the back behind the driver's seat. "I was expecting Fred to come back. I thought they were going somewhere to do the deal." Nudds admitted that his statement to the police about finding the van had contained a series of lies. "I didn't want to incriminate myself with anything to do with drugs in case they had found the drugs," he said. The case continues.

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