Watford bin man Gary Bennett told a colleague he was expecting a delivery of tobacco two days before he was found murdered, a court heard this morning.

Mr Bennett sold “considerable amounts” of tobacco to colleagues at the Wiggenhall waste depot but had “struggled to get hold of any” in the months leading up to his death, the jury at St Albans Crown Court was told.

Julian Felisi, accused of murdering Mr Bennett in Aldenham Country Park, on February 24, also sold tobacco at the depot, the court heard.

John O'Brien, a heavy goods vehicle driver at the depot, told the court he started buying tobacco from Mr Bennett in 2002.

He said he would regularly buy about 10 pouches from the 46-year-old bin man at a price of about £75 – almost £50 cheaper than in shops.

Mr O'Brien added that he didn't know where Mr Bennett got the tobacco from but the supply had “dried up” in the months leading up to Christmas in 2009, after which he rarely had any.

Defence barrister Nicholas Rhodes pointed out to Mr O'Brien that, in his statement given to police, he said Mr Bennett had told him he would be getting some more tobacco and asked if he wanted any.

According to his statement, this conversation took place on Monday, February 22, and he had said he would probably buy about five pouches.

At court this morning, the jury heard testimony from four employees from the depot, at which Mr Bennett and Mr Felisi both worked.

Mr Bennett was described as a “friendly bloke” who “got on well with everyone” - none of the witnesses, when asked, could think of any friction between him and anyone else at the depot.

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