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REPORT: Mansfield couple found guilty of murdering parents

A woman and her husband are facing a life sentence after being convicted of 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 found guilty of their murder.

Phil Brewster reports.

Mansfield couple 'took £300,000 from Wycherley's'

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin from East Midlands Major Crime Unit says Susan and Christopher Edwards had taken around £300,000 from her parents.

The couple were today convicted of murdering William and Patricia Wycherley.

They are due to be sentenced on Monday.

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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
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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.

Police: Mansfield murder couple 'cold and calculating'

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."

– Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin led the inquiry

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Murdered Mansfield couple's family release statement

We didn’t know William Geoffrey, our mother’s youngest brother, at all well. We have built a picture of him in our minds based on what she’d told us and photographs we had seen. Sadly, mum died in 2009. Had she been alive now, she would have been horrified by these brutal murders, and the callous treatment of the bodies afterwards. It would have been extremely upsetting for her to discover the deception and lies practised by her niece — our cousin — Susan and her husband Christopher against her and others for so long, for their own selfish greed and gain..

We would like to thank everyone who helped to bring them to justice. In particular, we’d like to acknowledge the police, prosecution barristers, and the jury for their determination and hard work to get to the truth. Also, to the forensic and gun experts whose expertise helped to destroy their web of lies. We are private people and have found it difficult to have our family thrust into the public eye in such a way..

We have felt powerless throughout this terrible ordeal but, while we cannot change what has happened, there is one thing we can do — we can officially acknowledge William and Patricia’s deaths. Our main priority now is to see that they are finally laid to rest with dignity.”

– Murdered pensioner William Wycherley's nieces Hilary Rose and Christine Harford
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Couple sent cards on behalf of murdered parents

The cards said the couple were travelling in Ireland, in a card in 2011. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Susan Edwards sent Christmas cards to relatives of her parents in order to convince people they were still alive.

Read: Daughter 'sent Christmas cards' from dead parents

The cards described how the couple were enjoying travelling around Ireland, when in fact they have been shot dead and buried under the garden of their home.

The Christmas card sent to William Wycherley's niece in 2011. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Susan Edwards, 56, and her husband Christopher, 56, were found guilty of murdering Patricia and William Wycherley at Nottingham Crown Court.

The bodies of the Wycherleys were unearthed from the back garden of their home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, last October.

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Mansfield couple told they will receive a life sentence

Susan and Christopher Edwards have been told they will each receive a life sentence for the murder of Susan's parents.

Read: Couple found guilty of murdering parents in Mansfield

ITV News Reporter Ben Chapman is in court.

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