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Garden bodies were 'wrapped in duvets'

The bodies of William Wycherley and his wife Patricia were wrapped in duvets that each had two bullets in them, a court has heard.

Their daughter, Susan Edwards and her husband Christopher, are accused of murdering the couple 16 years ago and burying their bodies in their back garden in Mansfield.

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman, who is at Nottingham Crown Court, reports:

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William & Patricia Wycherley's bodies were found wrapped in duvets, lying one on top of the other, under the garden. 2 bullets in each duvet

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Jury hears man's account to police of Mansfield deaths

Christopher and Susan Edwards Credit: Police Handout

A jury in trial of a husband and wife accused of murdering the woman's parents in Mansfield eight months ago has heard what the man told police.

The jury heard that Christopher Edwards told police that his wife Susan had travelled to see her parents, William and Patricia Wycherley, on Mayday 1998. That she had heard her parents arguing before hearing a shot.

And that upon entering the room she saw her mother holding a pistol and her father on the floor.

The court heard an argument took place after her mother told Susan Edwards that her father had abused Susan as a child, and that she (Patricia Wycherley) had slept with Christopher Edwards.

Christopher Edwards then told police that his wife Susan had shot her mother.

The court heard that Christopher Edwards told police that when his wife told him about the shootings, he assisted in burying the bodies in the garden.

The jury heard that Susan Edwards told police in a statement that she had shot her mother - Patricia Wycherley - after severe provocation.

Susan Edwards, 56, admits the manslaughter of her mother, and both she and Christopher Edwards, 57, admit burying both bodies and theft.

They both deny murdering Mr and Mrs Wycherley.

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Daughter claims she killed mother because she had shot her father

The garden where William and Patricia Wycherley were buried
The garden where William and Patricia Wycherley were buried Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Nottingham Crown Court was told that Susan Edwards has admitted the manslaughter of her mother on the basis of provocation.

After her arrest, the court heard, she told police she believed her mother had shot her father during the bank holiday weekend, and she had then argued with Mrs Wycherley before shooting her more than once.

In her account, Mrs Edwards told police that her mother claimed during the argument to have had a sexual relationship with Christopher Edwards in the early 1990s.

But Mr Joyce asserted that her account of killing her mother - when her husband was elsewhere - and then picking up empty bullet casings had been invented before her arrest.

In his police interviews, Christopher Edwards backed up his wife's claims, and denied travelling from London to Mansfield to help her kill her parents.

He told officers he had been a member of a gun club based in Earls Court in London and had possessed a firearms certificate between 1979 and 1995.

He also claimed to have travelled to Mansfield a week after the Wycherleys died to bury their bodies, which had been placed under a bed.

Concluding his opening remarks, Mr Joyce told the jury panel: "The prosecution's case is that the story (given to police by the Edwards) had been concocted and agreed by the defendants to explain the evidence that I have told you about.

"Susan Edwards' parents, visited by their daughter and son-in-law some time during that weekend, were each shot twice whilst they were facing the person holding the gun.

"They were shot in the same way by the same person.

"The weapon had clearly been taken to Forest Town, Mansfield, in order to carry out the murder.

"It was a joint plan and they got away with it by lying and deceit for 15 years, until they ran out of money because the Centenarian Society wanted to know about the father and they had to run away."

National

Daughter 'sent Christmas cards' from dead parents

by Ben Chapman: ITV News Correspondent

A woman sent Christmas cards to relatives of her parents, whom she's accused of murdering, in order to convince people they were still alive, a court has heard.

Susan Edwards told relatives her father and mother were travelling in Ireland. In reality, they had been shot dead eleven years earlier and buried under the garden of their home.

She wrote: "It is as if he's having his second youth. All he speaks of now is travel and travelling ... I cannot really keep up with where he is planning to settle! It is good to see them with such zest."

William Wycherley and his wife Patricia were found buried in their back garden in October 2013.
William Wycherley and his wife Patricia were found buried in their back garden in October 2013. Credit: Police handout

Susan Edwards is accused, along with her husband, Christopher, of shooting William and Patricia Wycherley to death in 1998, before burying their bodies in their garden.

The court was told that over 15 years they claimed more than £245,000 in the dead couple's name.

They both deny murder, but admit burying the bodies and theft. Susan Edwards also admits the manslaughter of her mother.

Elderly couple " shot and buried"

The Mansfield garden where an elderly couple were buried
The Mansfield garden where an elderly couple were buried Credit: ITV Yorkshire

An elderly couple were shot dead by their daughter and son-in-law, who then buried their bodies, stole from their bank account and tricked family members into believing they were still alive, a jury heard today.

Nottingham Crown Court was told Susan and Christopher Edwards "lied to everybody" for 15 years to cover up the killings of Patricia and William Wycherley.

Opening the case against the Edwards, who both deny murder, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC said William Wycherley, 85, and his 63-year-old wife were both shot twice with a revolver in the upper body over a bank holiday weekend in May 1998.

Susan Edwards, 56, and her husband Christopher, 57, are than alleged to have buried the Wycherleys' bodies in a makeshift grave in the back garden of their home in Blenheim Close, Mansfield.

Addressing a jury of eight women and four men, Mr Joyce said two joint accounts held by the Wycherleys were "cleaned out" in early May 1998, shortly after their deaths.

Mr Joyce told the jury: "A total of £40,000 or more was taken and has never been recovered.

"The prosecution's case is that Susan Edwards' parents, William and Patricia, were shot and killed by them over that bank holiday weekend, immediately before the bank accounts were closed and a new one opened.

"They were shot with a .38 revolver and over that weekend, they weren't just shot, they were buried in their own back garden.

"Over the next 15 years, in order to continue stealing money and to cover up what they had done, these two defendants lied to family members, they lied to neighbours, they lied to doctors, they lied to financial institutions, and they created and used many false documents."

Alleging that the Edwards "diverted" a total of around £45,000 into a joint account in the years after the Wycherleys were killed, Mr Joyce added: "They lied to everybody.

"They deceived and tricked everyone into believing that Susan Edwards' parents, William and Patricia, were still alive.

"They could then cover up the killings and continue to fund their own lifestyle and help to solve their financial difficulties out of monies that were continuing to be paid to the Wycherleys."

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National

Prosecution claims couple lied 'to fund their lifestyle'

The prosecution has claimed a woman and her husband accused of murdering her parents 16 years ago lied to their family to "fund their own lifestyle".

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman reports from the court:

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Prosecution: £40,000 was taken from them & never traced. Accusation is it all "went into the pockets of the defendants."

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Prosecution: for 15 years, "they lied to family, neighbours, doctors & financial institutions" to convince people victims were still alive.

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Prosecution: purpose was to "fund their own lifestyle and help solve their own financial problems."

Read: Could accused of murdering parents

National

Woman admits killing mother but denies murder

A woman whose parents were found buried in their back garden and her husband have gone on trial accused of their murder.

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman reports from Nottingham Crown Court:

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In court for trial of Susan Edwards, accused of murdering parents and burying their bodies in garden, alongside her husband, Christopher.

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Susan Edwards admits killing her mother but she & her husband deny murder. They both admit burying their bodies and stealing money from them

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Prosecution says couple shot & killed William & Patricia Wycherley with a .38 revolver, and covered it up by burying bodies in garden.

Sister's plea for help in finding schoolgirl's killer

The sister of a schoolgirl from South Yorkshire who was murdered 50 years ago today has appealed for the public's help to finally bring the killer to justice and end the family's nightmare.

13-year-old Anne Dunwell was strangled with her own stockings and dumped at Maltby near Rotherham. Her killer has never been found.

Jon Hill reports.

Plea to find killer 50 years after schoolgirl's murder

Anne Dunwell Credit: South Yorkshire Police

50 years after a South Yorkshire schoolgirl was murdered her sister has made an emotional appeal to find the killer.

13-year-old Anne Dunwell was on her way home when she was sexually assaulted and strangled with her own stockings. Her naked body was left at the foot of a manure heap near Maltby, Rotherham.

Today her elder sister, Irene Hall, has renewed an appeal for information in a bid to catch the culprit and spoken candidly about how she can’t move on until the county’s oldest murder case is solved.

“My father always wanted to know who could do such a thing before he passed away, but he never got to know.

“I’d like to see the killer brought to justice too, but I’m not getting any younger. If I don’t then the burden will fall to my children.

“Generations come and go, but Anne will never be forgotten,” said Irene.

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