Eerie! Three friends posed for selfie moments before one of them "choked" the other and buried him alive in a grave
Bonner was reportedly discovered shortly after Spottiswood dumped his body. A walker by was alerted to Bonner's presence and found him lying naked in a pit.
An eerie selfie has emerged of three friends, which was taken just moments before one of them "choked the life" out of another, and then buried them alive in a shallow grave, according to reports.
The picture is of Richard Spottiswood, his then-girlfriend Lucy Burn, and their victim Darren Bonner. It was reportedly taken hours before the chilling incident and shows all three of them looking relaxed and happy. The trio had been on a caravan holiday.
However, just a few hours after that picture, 34-year-old Spottiswood strangled 24-year-old Bonner with a headlock and drove him to a remote seaside location in Cresswell, Northumberland, where he left him for dead, according to the Daily Mail.
Reports state that when the detectives were investigating the incident, Lucy Burn, tried to throw them off the lead by concocting a fake account of what happened.
Bonner was reportedly discovered shortly after Spottiswood dumped his body. A passer-by was alerted to Bonner's presence and found him lying naked after he heard "very, very loud snoring noises."
The stranger pulled Bonner from the hole and rushed him to the hospital. However, Bonner later succumbed to his injuries and died 16 days after the incident at the medical facility.
Spottiswood had reportedly employed Bonner at his business in South Shields, South Tyneside. The 34-year-old, who initially denied the murder, has now been served a life imprisonment sentence for "revenge killing," according to reports.
Spottiswood reportedly choked Bonner after he thought the 24-year-old had "double-crossed" him. The incident occurred while they were on a family mini-break.
While addressing the Newcastle Crown Court, Prosecutor Tim Roberts QC said that both the men were involved in cannabis dealings, in a separate, illegal, sideline to the legitimate garage work.
"Richard Spottiswood had become suspicious that someone had been leaking information about his operations to a rival drug dealer. The background to this offense is of participation in organized, commercial cultivation and distribution of controlled drugs for profit," Roberts said.
"The motive for the crime of murder was to silence someone who had informed against Richard Spottiswood to a rival drug dealer. The motive for the attack was revenge, following discovery that Darren Bonner had betrayed Richard Spottiswood to a rival drug dealer. That is a powerful motive," the prosecutor added.
Spottiswood's former girlfriend, 30-year-old Burn, was originally jointly charged with Bonner's murder; however, she pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was cleared of involvement.