A WELL-off drug dealer was attacked, seriously injured and most likely murdered in a flat before his killers dumped his body in a car and set it on fire, a jury was told.
Agim Hoxha's "badly burned remains" we're discovered by firefighters who were called to tackle a car fire in a quiet road on the outskirts of Southampton in the early hours of Tuesday April 10 last year.
He had been allegedly murdered by fellow Albanians Afrim Lleshi and Arben Lleshi most likely in connection with illicit drug dealing - although the exact reason for his killing might never be established, the court was told.
Winchester Crown Court heard how a resident of Chilworth Drove had dialled 999 after hearing an explosion outside his home and fire crews found the car at 1.40am. The fire was "intense" and the car "very badly damaged" the court was told.
It was after the flames were extinguished that 29-year-old Mr Hoxha's remains were found lying in the rear footwell of a silver Mercedes coupe which he owned, prosecutor Nicholas Haggan QC said.
However it is believed Mr Hoxha had been attacked, seriously hurt and most probably killed late the previous evening at flat 285b Shirley Road, Shirley, a property Arben Lleshi had just paid a deposit to rent earlier that day.
Mr Haggan described how blood stains were found there despite attempts to clean it up which matched Mr Hoxha's DNA.
Jurors were told how the victim was a "very successful" drug dealer who dealt cocaine in the city, unbeknown to police.
He was well dressed, had two cars - the Mercedes and a Mondeo - and "had access to as much cocaine as he could sell".
Afrim Lleshi, 36, and Arben Lleshi, 25, both deny murder.
Arben also denies a second charge of perverting the course of justice by removing, with Afrim, Mr Hoxha's body from the flat, taking it to Chilworth Drove and setting fire to it as well as cleaning traces of blood inside the property.