THE jury in the trial of an undercover TV researcher accused of murder have been sent home for the weekend.

Christopher Guest More Jr, 43 and from Lymm, is accused of the murder of cannabis dealer Brian Waters.

He also faces charges of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Waters and a second man, Suleman Razak.

Jurors were sent to begin deliberations on Tuesday afternoon with a view of reaching a verdict.

A direction was given yesterday afternoon, Thursday, by justice Sir Peter Openshaw, who presides over the trial, that a majority verdict of 10 or more jurors would be accepted.

But the trial will resume on Tuesday after the bank holiday weekend after a verdict could not be agreed upon.

Mr Waters, 44, was tortured and killed at a Knutsford farmhouse on June 19, 2003, over a drugs debt, the trial heard.

More was wanted for more than 15 years in connection with the incident before being detained on a European arrest warrant in Malta in June 2019, having been living under the false identity Andrew Lamb, and was extradited back to the UK in March last year.

The jury was told in the opening days of the trial at Chester Crown Court that Mr Waters was killed in a disused cow shed at Burnt House Farm in Tabley, and another man, Mr Razak, was tortured at the same time.

The court heard how Mr Waters was tied up, suspended upside down, beaten with a metal bar and attacked with an industrial staple gun during a horrific three-hour ordeal.

Three men – John Wilson, James Raven and Otis Matthews – were convicted of Mr Waters' murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to him and to Mr Razak following trials between 2004 and 2007, the trial heard.

The jury was told More, who was 25 at the time and living in Lymm, had been involved in undercover work for television programmes, often working with Raven, his cousin.

In 2002, More and Raven were asked to locate a cannabis farm for covert filming by a production company working for Channel 4 show Dispatches, which was filming a programme about the reclassification of the drug, the court heard.

The court heard Mr Waters had set up a cannabis farm at Burnt House Farm with his friend Mujahid Majid, known as Johnny, in June 2002.

Nigel Power, prosecuting, said Mr Waters owed money to Wilson and at one point had to work to pay off £20,000 which was confiscated from him as he travelled back from Holland.

He said More denied being present when the attacks took place but said he had made a number of reconnaissance visits to the open land of the farm before the day of the murder.

Joel Bennathan, representing More, told the jury his client accepted helping to steal the cannabis farm on the morning of the day of the murder, but said that More left the scene when he realised something else was happening before the torture of Mr Razak and arrival of Mr Waters.

The case continues.