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Judge calls parent-murderer 'liar and a fantasist'

The judge who sentenced a couple convicted of murdering the wife's parents before burying the bodies in their garden and stealing £245,000 of their money to at least 25 years in jail has condemned their crimes as "shocking".

Police in the garden of a house near Mansfield, where the remains of William and Patricia Wycherley were discovered. Credit: PA

Mrs Justice Thirlwall told Susan Edwards, who sat staring intently from the dock wearing a patterned grey cardigan and glasses, that she was "an accomplished liar and a fantasist".

Mrs Justice Thirlwall added that she was satisfied it was Christopher Edwards "who held the gun" and who shot the pensioners in the back bedroom of their semi-detached home, and not as the couple claimed, Susan Edwards.

"I sentence you on the basis that each of you intended that both Mr and Mrs Wycherley should be shot dead."

She added their sentences had to reflect the serious nature of the double killing, telling them they had planned to shoot their two victims - one of whom was in his 80s - for financial gain.

More: 'Garden bodies' killers foiled by 100th birthday request

Mansfield couple jailed for life over parents' murders

Susan Edwards and her husband Christopher have been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 25 years each for murdering her parents, burying their bodies in unmarked graves and stealing £245,000 of their money.

Christopher and Susan Edwards mug shots.
Christopher and Susan Edwards have been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 25 years each. Credit: PA Wire

Last week they were found guilty shooting William and Patricia Wycherley dead at the elderly couple's former home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1998.

For the next 15 years, the Edwards kept up the elaborate hoax that Mr Wycherley, 85, and his 63-year-old wife were alive - claiming their benefits, pension and even selling their home, before a tip-off led police to the graves in October last year.

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'Garden bodies' killers foiled by 100th birthday request

Susan and Christopher Edwards were both found guilty of the murder of her parents at Nottingham Crown Court today.

The pair buried William and Patricia Wycherley in their own back garden, then pretended they were alive in order to swindle hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Their plan unravelled when an official wanted to meet William Wycherley on what would have been his 100th birthday.

More: Mansfield couple found guilty of murdering parents

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.
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

More: Couple said they buried parents after Eurovision

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.

Watch: Police say Mansfield couple 'have shown no remorse'

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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.

Read: Mansfield couple told they will receive a life sentence

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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Judge tells Susan & Christopher Edwards they each receive a life sentence. Their minimum term will be decided on Monday pm. @itvnews

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In all Susan & Christopher Edwards stole nearly £250,000 from their dead victims to pay off their debts and fund their lifestyle. @itvnews

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Susan & Christopher Edwards both guilty of murdering her parents and burying their bodies in the garden. @itvnews

Central

Mansfield couple found guilty of murdering parents

Susan and Christopher Edwards have been convicted of murdering her parents. The bodies of William and Patricia Wycherley were discovered in the back garden of a house on Blenheim Close at Forest Town in Mansfield last October.

They were murdered 15 years before, in May 1998. Susan Edwards had admitted manslaughter but denied murder. More to follow.

Read: Susan Edwards describes moment she shot her mother

Central

Pathologist reveals buried Mansfield couple were shot

A couple found buried in the back garden of a home in Mansfield were killed by gunshot, forensic tests have confirmed.

The remains of the pair - believed to be elderly couple William and Patricia Wycherley who disappeared from the house in 1998 - were found in the garden of the house in Blenheim Close, Forest Town, on October 9 following a tip-off.

A 55-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man - named by the Press Association as the couple's daughter Susan Edwards and son-in-law Christopher - today remain in custody being questioned over their couple's murder.

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