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Couple jailed for life for murdering parents

Christopher Edwards and Susan Edwards jailed for life for murder Credit: ITV News Central

A woman and her husband have been jailed for life for murdering her parents and burying them in their own back garden in Mansfield.

The bodies of William and Patricia Wycherley lay undiscovered for 15 years and were unearthed by police last year.

Today, their daughter, Susan Edwards, and her husband, Christopher, were told they will each serve a minimum of 25 years before being eligible for parole.

Mansfield couple who killed and buried parents in garden due to be sentenced

Susan and Christopher Edwards who were found guilty of murdering her parents Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A man and woman who have been found guilty of murdering her parents in north Nottinghamshire will be sentenced today.

Susan and Christopher Edwards were found guilty of the murders of William and Patricia Wycherley on Friday. The Wycherleys' bodies were buried in the garden of their Mansfield home and found 15 years later.


Report: Couple found guilty of murdering and burying parents in garden

A married couple who shot her parents and buried them in the back garden of their home in Mansfield have today been found guilty of their murders.

Susan and Christopher Edwards had denied the charges but they now face life sentences for killing Patricia and William Wycherley and covering up the crime for 15 years.

Susan and Christopher Edwards arranged to surrender to police in London when their deceit became apparent and it was only then that detectives uncovered what they had been doing:

  1. National

Mansfield couple swindled £245K from murders

After killing "reclusive" William and Patricia Wycherley at Nottingham Crown Court, Susan and Christopher Edwards swindled £245,000 over the next 15 years by pretending they were alive.

They continued to collect their benefits and pension payments, and sold their home with the bodies buried under the back garden, in August 2005.

The debt-ridden couple stole £245,000 from their parents, through falsely claiming benefits and selling their home. Credit: Press Association

The couple,who had been in "severe financial difficulties" for much of their relationship, were more than £160,000 in debt when they were arrested last October.

Despite their debts, they spent thousands on film memorabilia including signed photos and autographs of Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra.

The couple spent thousands on film memorabilia, such as signed photographs. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police
  1. National

Couple said they buried parents after Eurovision

During the trial, Susan Edwards admitted the manslaughter of her mother but claimed she had been provoked. She claimed her mother had shot her father while she was staying with them, and during an argument afterwards said she shot her mother.

Read: Woman tells jury she 'lost it' and shot her mother

Christopher Edwards, who held a firearms certificate, told the court his wife only told him what she had done after they travelled to Mansfield by coach a week later.

The couple buried Susan's parents in their back garden. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

He claimed they buried the bodies early on a Sunday morning after watching the Eurovision Song Contest on TV on May 9.

But prosecutors said the Wycherleys were gunned down for their money and buried the weekend before by both defendants.

The jury in the trial of Susan and Christopher Edwards took just six hours to convict them of murder.


Parents' murderers show no emotion in face of life sentence

The judge Mrs Justice Kathryn Thirlwall said she would sentence the couple at the court on Monday at 2.30pm.

Susan Edwards and her husband Christopher Credit: Nott

She told the couple: "Susan Edwards. Christopher Edwards. You both know what the consequences are of a conviction for murder.

"You'll both be subject to a life sentence and what I have to consider before sentencing you is the length of the minimum term that you should each serve before being considered for parole.

"It is that exercise that will be carried out on Monday afternoon at 2.30pm."

The couple continued to show no emotion as the judge spoke to them, sitting two seats apart in the dock.

They did not acknowledge each other until they stood to leave the dock, when Edwards put his arm across his wife's shoulders.

Detective: Edwards' acted with cold calculation

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin who led the inquiry said:

“Susan and Christopher Edwards had 15 years to come up with an account of what happen that night in May 1998. In their interviews they didn’t stray from a well rehearsed script, and even used the same words and turns of phrases. I wonder whether they had started to believe their own lies.

“The Edwards’ acted with cold calculation and meticulousness, killing and burying in an unmarked grave to be forgotten the people who raised Susan. They then spent the next 15 years exploiting and profiting from it.

“We scrutinised their every word and while we found fundamental elements of the story to be true there were inconsistencies in the detail. It was that detail which painted a very different picture, one that involved premeditated murder, likely driven by a long-harboured financial grudge...

“Their surviving family has been understandably stunned and upset by what has happened. I just hope they can take comfort in the knowledge that William and Patricia will now be officially and respectfully laid to rest.”

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