The unsolved hunt for the killers of a man whose body was dumped in Redhill nine years ago has taken another twist as a civil case against the police collapsed before it began.

Graham Peacock and Richard and Geoffrey Thorpe were seeking £800,000 compensation from the police for their arrest and prosecution in connection with the murder of George Leitch.

Mr Leitch's body was found dumped at Cormongers Lane landfill site on July 30, 1993, having been missing since the beginning of the month.

His body was badly decomposed and was only identified by a tattoo on his right thigh.

The Metropolitan Police took over the investigation when enquiries led to Beckenham and Gypsy Hill in London.

Following a lengthy investigation, the three were arrested and prosecuted for Mr Leitch's murder.

Mr Peacock was granted bail but Thorpe and Thorpe were remanded in custody until the charge of murder was dismissed against all three claimants in 1996.

They claimed a number of officers on the case had fabricated and manipulated witnesses' evidence and had an £800,000 offer to settle the case rejected by the police.

The civil action trial was due to start on October 23 in the High Court but their claims were dismissed just before the trial commenced.

Samantha Bird of the Met's Legal Services department said: "This success is down to a number of factors, including the time and preparation put in by a large number of witnesses, including serving officers, retired officers and civilian witnesses who supported our case."

The murder still remains unsolved and anyone with information that will assist the re-investigation of the case is asked to call DCI Simon Morgan at the Parchmore Road Incident Room on 020 8649 1556.

November 28, 2002 15:00