The BBC executive behind Fleabag and Killing Eve paid tens of thousands of pounds to two underworld figures who went on to torture a drug dealer to death in front of his children.

Christopher Guest More, 43 – who was yesterday convicted of the murder of Brian Waters – and Jimmy Raven, 61, received almost £52,000 from the BBC for just one show.

Heavily-tattooed Raven was jailed for life a year after the savage killing, but millionaire’s son More went on the run and assumed a stolen identity.

For 16 years he escaped from justice, but he was finally caught in 2019. He lived a playboy life in Malta where he skippered yachts worth multi-millions of pounds.

His extradition to the UK was granted and he is currently on trial in Chester Crown Court, for 2003 murder.

Accomplice James Raven (pictured) posing for a picture in the run up to his arrest for the murder of Brian Waters

Pictured: Accomplice James Raven poses for a photo in the days leading up to his arrest on the murder of Brian Waters

Christopher Guest More jnr (pictured in 2003) was the fugitive son of former millionaire businessman Chris More

Christopher Guest More, jnr (pictured here in 2003), was the son of ex-millionaire Chris More

Following the jury’s guilty verdict yesterday the Mail can reveal that both More and Raven, who were cousins, worked as undercover operatives for Fiona Campbell, now the £215,000-a-year controller of BBC3. Her hits include Fleabag and Normal People, as well as Killing Eve.

This newspaper’s investigation revealed that Miss Campbell knew Raven was a victim of violence, but she allowed him and More to continue working for the Corporation.

According to the Mail, documents proving her request were signed by Peter Horrocks at the time, who was then the Head of Current Affairs. He went on the become Director of the World Service. Steven Whittle (head of editorial policy) and Roger Law (head of the BBC Legal department), also confirmed it. 

The two men were paid £51,864.07 for one film on counterfeiters and were still being consulted over issues in post-production when they murdered Mr Waters.

The BBC broadcast the film, including the pair’s secretly filmed footage, two years later – even though Raven had been jailed and More was on the run.

The men were also paid thousands for earlier BBC projects commissioned by Miss Campbell, with More’s payments for 2002 to 2003 totalling £42,000.

Miss Campbell, then a producer specialising in undercover crime documentaries, was More and Raven’s senior handler.

According to police, she said that she didn’t ask the pair how they obtained their information. She was criticised by a judge in a trial related to the pair’s counterfeiting programme for allowing them to operate without effective scrutiny.

Both More and Raven, who were cousins, worked as undercover operatives for Fiona Campbell, (above) now the £215,000-a-year controller of BBC3

Both More and Raven, who were cousins, worked as undercover operatives for Fiona Campbell, (above) now the £215,000-a-year controller of BBC3

More’s trial heard that he and Raven were members of a six-strong gang who ambushed Mr Waters, 44, at the cannabis farm he owned in Tabley, near Knutsford, Cheshire, on the orders of cocaine boss John Wilson.

For three hours Mr Waters, who owed Wilson £20,000, was tortured while his children, Gavin and Natalie, were tied up and forced to watch.

After being strung upside down and attacked with canes with an industrial stapler and burned with molten Plastic, the victim was given electric shocks before being beaten and submerged in a water barrel. 

A pathologist who examined Mr Waters’ body told the court he suffered more than 100 injuries and would have died in ‘excruciating’ pain. Mr Waters’s farm manager Suleman Razak, then 20, was also tortured.

Yesterday Mr Waters’ wife, Julie, who was also kidnapped during the terrifying attack, and children said their ordeal has had a ‘significant and long-lasting effect’ on their family.

Campbell is credited for hits including Fleabag, Normal People and Killing Eve (pictured)

Campbell was credited with hits like Fleabag (pictured), Normal People, and Killing Eve.

Wilson, now 71, and his ‘right hand man’ Otis Matthews, now 44, were convicted of Mr Waters’ murder in August 2004 and October 2007, respectively, and jailed for life.

More claimed that Wilson’s DNA was present at the crime scene as he helped him steal cannabis equipment and drugs on the day of the attack. But he claimed it was as part of his ‘journalistic research’ into Wilson, who he believed was a police informant.

The jury dismissed More’s version of events and convicted him of Mr Waters’ murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm to Mr Razak.

When he is sentenced, he will be imprisoned for the rest of his life with a minimum sentence. A BBC spokesman said: ‘Neither James Raven nor Christopher Guest More was work- ing for the BBC at the time of these offences.’

Regarding the criticisms of Miss Campbell by the judge in the counterfeiting trial, they added: ‘The BBC and its then employees accepted the overall findings of the judge.

‘As we said and as was reported at the time, the BBC made a number of changes to its editorial guidelines which considerably tightened up the procedures around investigations into crime and around undercover filming.’