THE panicking wife of a missing businessman was calmed by the man who abducted and murdered him, a jury at the Old Bailey has heard.

Kenneth Regan (55) allegedly stole a freight business from Amarjit Chohan (45), known as Anil, and held him captive at his home in Forge Close, South Newton, before he was killed.

As his distraught wife Nancy (24) tried to contact him, Regan played her a voice message her husband had been forced to make.

Three days later, Mrs Chohan would also be kidnapped and murdered with her mother and two young sons, it was claimed.

On the morning of February 13 last year, Mr Chohan left his offices in Hounslow, west London, to meet Regan at Stonehenge. He told his partner, Mike Parr, that Regan had arranged a business meeting with some Dutch men who were interested in buying the business.

However, Mr Chohan failed to return home and, later that day, Mr Parr started to take calls from an extremely anxious Mrs Chohan.

To reassure her, Mr Parr said he would telephone Regan, who apparently said, "Tell her to stop fussing, he will be all right".

Mr Parr added: "He came over as a little bit agitated that Nancy was making such a fuss about Anil."

Later that evening, Mr Parr went round to see Mrs Chohan at the family's home in Sutton Road, Hounslow.

About half an hour later, Mr Parr said Regan showed up, much to his surprise.

"He said he actually had a message from Anil on his mobile," he added.

"He played the message. It was along the lines of, "Don't panic, I'll be home tomorrow".

"He sounded okay - quite chirpy.

"Nancy calmed right down. You could see the relief in her face."

Richard Horwell QC, prosecuting, said Mr Chohan was being held and had been forced to record the message.

He said the family was then murdered and buried on an isolated Devon farm.

Apparently, their bodies were then dumped off the Dorset coast when the killers realised the police net was closing in.

Regan (55), of Forge Close, South Newton, William Horncy (52), of Adeline Road, Bournemouth, and Peter Rees (39), of Rowlands Castle, Portsmouth, all deny five charges of murder between February 14 and April 23 last year.

They further deny the false imprisonment of Mr Chohan between February 12 and April 28 last year.

The case continues.

Regan was involved in series of scams

KENNETH Regan was involved in a series of illegal scams prior to masterminding an elaborate plan to execute an Asian millionaire and steal his business.

The South Newton man was scheming to develop land owned by another London businessman at least three months before hatching his plan to murder Amarjit Chohan and seize control of CIBA Freight, the jury was told last week.

Richard Horwell QC, prosecuting, said Regan (55), of Forge Close, wanted to put a branch of MacDonalds on the site.

Apparently, he hoped it would make him £3m a year.

Regan asked his friend Belinda Brewin, on whose farm it is alleged he buried the bodies of the Chohan family, to help him.

He told her that he owned the land at Hatton Cross, but that he needed her help to obtain planning permission.

"This is a very good example of how Regan behaved towards the assets of other people," said Mr Horwell.

"He not only thought about owning and controlling such assets, he actually behaved as if he owned them."

Miss Brewin, who had agreed to help, set up a meeting with a planning consultant.

But the consultant told her there were several problems associated with the land and there was little chance of developing it.

"Regan had been determined to develop the land and, when he realised it could not be done, he must have been bitterly disappointed," said Mr Horwell.

"He had been expecting to make millions from the deal."

So Regan, allegedly, set about planning another scam - his bid to take over Amarjit Chohan's business. This time, he asked a man he had been in prison with if he would be prepared to help him, said Mr Horwell.

Apparently, he also asked Eric Daniels if he could help smuggle two-and-a-half tonnes of cocaine into the country, and if he could help Regan find a farm where he could grow cannabis.

"Regan was clearly involved in a series of illegal scams," said Mr Horwell. "It seems he was determined to make a lot of money and prepared to break the law if it was necessary to do so."

Mr Daniels, however, refused to play a part and it was at this point that Regan recruited William Horncy (52) and Peter Rees (39).

All three deny five counts of murder and one count of false imprisonment.

The case continues.