Neill Buchel trial: Man asked to transport body ‘thought it was a drug transaction’

A police officer at Eastbrookend Country Park on The Chase in Rush Green, where Neill Buchel's body

A police officer at Eastbrookend Country Park on The Chase in Rush Green, where Neill Buchel's body was found - Credit: Archant

One of the men handpicked to dispose of Neill Buchel’s dismembered remains initially thought he was signing up to help transport drugs, a court heard this afternoon.

Colin Bushaway, 61, of Gregory Close, Eltham, denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice, having been one of the few people to see the Dagenham father-of-two’s dead body following his murder on the night of March 13 last year.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard how murder accused Chas Quye, 36, of Stansgate Road, Dagenham, and Elvis Kwiatowski, 36, of Clopton Close, Royston, asked Bushaway to bring his van to Dagenham on March 15.

Representing the self-confessed “former biker” this afternoon, Angus Bunyan QC said his client would never have made the trip, had he known the real reason behind it – with his subsequent refusal to get involved serving as further proof.

“Elvis Kwiatokski had initially told him that they had a big parcel to move,” he said. “He thought it was drugs.

“On reflection it’s more than likely that Elvis Kwiatokski was staying cryptic about the real reason for wanting to see Colin Bushaway.

“It’s very unlikely that they would have risked telling him about the body until he travelled to Dagenham.

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“He later told police: ‘I wouldn’t have gone over if I’d known someone was dead.’

“The subsequent refusal for getting involved in moving the body would have been totally illogical if he had already known about the body at the flat.”

Bushaway had been known to both Quwe and Kwiatokski for about 30 years – the pair having been friends with his late son, who died four years ago.

Mr Bunyan told the court that it was this bond forged a loyalty which was the reason he failed to notify police about the body.

“He is someone for whom reporting things to the police doesn’t come easily, especially those that he has almost looked upon as sons,” he said.

“He displayed a mix of heart and misplaced loyalty, so perhaps we can forgive him for that.”

The trial continues.