A court has heard how a County Durham man killed his parents to inherit a £230,000 will after they survived a car crash he had faked months earlier.
It is alleged that Stephen Seddon murdered Robert and Patricia Seddon after they survived when he drove a car into a canal with them in the back.
The 46-year-old had debts and an insatiable need for cash, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Despite the couple gifting their son £40,000 in cash and buying his home, his parents "had to die" because he stood to inherit everything in their wills, it is alleged.
The court was told how he shot them both at close range - then planted the gun in his father's lap to make it look like a murder-suicide.
Seddon, from Seaham, denies two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
– Peter Wright QC, opening the case for the prosecution
"The person responsible not only wanted rid of Robert and Patricia Seddon, a quiet, unassuming, elderly couple. He wanted to lay a false trail. A trail, we say, he hoped would lead away rather than towards a man with a considerable motive to kill these two people.
"That man was their son, the defendant, Stephen Seddon."