'Body in boot' murder trial

A man from Warrington is on trial for the murder of his wife, who was found in the boot of his car in St Asaph last July. John Yates admits manslaughter, but denies murdering his wife Barbara.

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Body in boot-accused says he killed wife by mistake

A man on trial for murdering his wife described to court today the moments before she died.

The body of John Yates' wife Barbara was found in the boot of his car outside St Asaph police station last July.

Mr Yates, 58 and from Warrington, said they had been in his car together, arguing. He said he held his wife around the throat, headbutted her and hit her.

His defence barrister asked: "Did you hit her until she was was dead?" He replied: "I think so." He asked "Did you intend to kill her?" Mr Yates replied: "No. That was the last thing I wanted." "My head went. I had no plan", he said.

He told the court he covered her in a tarpaulin and drove the body to Wales. He denies murder, but admits manslaughter. The trial, at Caernarfon Crown Court, continues.

John Yates 'beat his wife' months before her death

A jury at Caernarfon Crown Court heard today that John Yates beat and sexually assaulted his wife Barbara, seven months before her body was found in the boot of his car.

A friend of 49-year-old Barbara Yates said she saw her in hospital in December 2011 with "horrific injuries."

Mr Yates was arrested, but his wife withdrew her complaint, the court heard.

The 58-year-old from Warrington admits manslaughter, but denies murdering his wife.

Her body was found in the boot of his car outside the police station in St Asaph last July.

The trial continues.


  1. Rob Shelley

Trial begins of husband accused of wife's murder

John Yates admits manslaughter but denies a charge of murder Credit: Robin Fornstone

The trial of a man who handed himself in to North Wales police having driven from his Warrington home to St Asaph with the body of his estranged wife has started in Caernarfon Crown Court today.

John Yates, 58, admits manslaughter but denies a charge of murder.

Opening the case for the prosecution, barrister Wyn Lloyd Jones told the jury that the couple had been together for 3 decades - and that a history of domestic abuse had outlasted their relationship.

In 2009 Barbara Yates had decided to leave the marital home - when, he claimed to the jury - the verbal and physical abuse Mrs Yates allegedly suffered intensified.

On the 18th of July last year Mr Yates drove up to the police traffic centre in St Asaph - and handed himself in, saying :'I have killed my wife. I just had enough. I have mental health issues. She's in the back of the car'.

The case is expected to last around a week.

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