A TESCO manager who injected crystal meth into his Grindr date before dumping his body in woodland has been jailed for six years.
Neil Cuckson, 32, chatted with Hiran Chauhan, 24, about discussed taking drugs on the dating app before they met, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The victim went to the home of Cuckson where the latter said they engaged in chemsex, in which both drank liquid ecstasy – GHB.
He told the court he also injected Hiran and himself with crystal meth before the pair fell asleep in the early hours of July 3.
The defendant said he woke up to find the 24-year-old, who worked as a chef, had died.
However, rather than call the police he kept the body in his flat and went to work as normal at a Tesco Express in Manchester city centre.
He bought a Suzuki Swift car on Gumtree for £200, after earlier purchasing a wheelbarrow and a pitchfork, and in the early hours of July 8 was caught on CCTV struggling to lift the body into car boot.
Cuckson dragged the body, wrapped in plastic sheeting, across the road from his flat in Eccles Old Road to nearby woodland.
The body of Hiran, a chef at El Capo restaurant in Manchester's Northern Quarter, was discovered by two 14-year-old schoolboys and a woman the next day.
She said as she waited for police to arrive she noticed a white male wearing a Tesco jacket on the other side of the road and described him as "not looking shocked".
Shortly afterwards, Cuckson bought a saw before inquiries led police to his flat, in which officers noted a "pungent smell".
The defendant was arrested on suspicion of murder and en route to custody he said: "He overdosed that's what happened. I didn't kill him."
Michael Lavery, prosecuting, said: "He told police that by the time he knew Hiran was dead he was panicking and that he was trying to cover up what had happened.
"He said he formed the opinion that Hiran was quite naive when it came to drugs, not understanding the slang or street names which attach to them."
Mr Lavery said the post-mortem examination was hampered and limited by the severe decomposition and degeneration of Hiran's body.
The prosecutor said the victim's family believed he was not a regular drug user and a cousin said he was "very naive and vulnerable".
Hiran's sister, Gemma, read out her victim personal statement from the witness box as Cuckson, originally from Northern Ireland, stared at the floor in the dock throughout.
'NAIVE AND VULNERABLE'
She said: "What kind of individual thinks it's normal to sleep next to a body for six days, wrap him up, buy a car to hide a body, drag a body across a road and dump a body in a field?
"This is not normal and he deserves to suffer."
Michael James, defending Cuckson, said: "He understands he can never change what he did and he can never apologise enough to the family but he does show some real remorse."
Sentencing the Tesco manager to six years behind bars, judge Alan Conrad QC told him: "You kept his body in your flat and did not alert the authorities as anybody with any decency would have done.
"To save your own skin, and to thwart a police investigation, you embarked on an elaborate plan to dispose of his body."
In December, Cuckson admitted preventing a lawful and decent burial, perverting the course of justice and supplying Class A and Class C drugs.
He was facing trial next week on an outstanding count of administering a noxious substance – crystal meth – to endanger life but on Friday he pleaded guilty to the charge.
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