Love triangle man 'disappeared without trace'

A 60-year-old man "disappeared without trace" after becoming involved in a love triangle with a woman half his age, the Old Bailey heard today.

George Smith was last seen in August last year, although traces of his body tissue were found in the bathroom of his flat in Barnet, north London, said Crispin Aylett, prosecuting.

Two months earlier, divorced Mr Smith had "lived it up" in a Devon hotel with Kerry Mustoe, 30, with whom he had a long-term, on-off relationship.

Miss Mustoe had just left her new boyfriend, Dwayne Cupidon, 26, and had asked Mr Smith to collect her things.

Mr Aylett said Mr Smith had also taken a small safe containing £14,000 and used this for the trip.

Cupidon allegedly later told someone he was looking for Mr Smith because he had "nicked money worth dying for".

Cupidon, of no fixed address, denies murder.

Mr Aylett told the jury: "George Smith simply vanished, apparently without trace. He simply disappeared.

"Inside the flat it was like a scene from the Marie Celeste."

He said an attempt had been made to clean up the flat but there were specks of blood on the floor of the living room and kitchen.

Mr Aylett said the tissue found on the bathroom wall, the u-bend pipe and a pair of trousers on the floor would have come from "significantly below the surface of the skin".

But there was no trail of blood or evidence of Mr Smith going to hospital.

"He must have been murdered inside that flat and his body must have been drained of blood, and he must have been dismembered inside that flat," said Mr Aylett.

"Apart from these small fragments of tissue, no trace of George Smith has been found."

He said Cupidon must have been responsible for the "monstrous acts".

Mr Aylett added: "The murder has its roots in a love triangle."

There had been no love lost between the two men and Mr Smith had taken the money knowing Cupidon "would go beserk".

He said traces of Mr Smith's blood were also found on Cupidon's rucksack, and his shoes matched footprints in the blood found at the flat.