David Venables claimed serial killer Fred West responsible for wife's murder in 1982, court hears

David Venables (L) and Fred West (R). Credit: PA

A retired pig farmer on trial accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank initially tried to blame infamous serial killer Fred West, a court heard today.

David Venables made the extraordinary allegation after the remains of his wife Brenda Venables were discovered 40 years after she disappeared, Worcester Crown Court has heard.

What was left of her body was found in 2019 when the septic tank was completely drained.

After her remains were found 40 years later and he was arrested, Venables changed his story and alleged that the notorious serial killer Fred West was responsible.

He said he knew a woman who told him she had been abducted by West in Gloucestershire but had managed to escape.

Mr Michael Burrows QC, prosecuting, said during police interviews David Venables tried to blame his wife’s death on the serial killer.

The defendant explained that because Gloucestershire was on the Worcestershire border this is what may have happened to his wife.

Serial killers Fred and Rose West Credit: PA

Fred West, together with his wife Rose, killed at least 12 women in the Gloucestershire area between 1967 and 1987.

He killed himself in 1995 whilst on remand in Birmingham's Winson Green Prison.

Retired pig farmer Venables, 89, is on trial charged with his wife's murder.

The prosecution say he killed Mrs Venables, who was aged 48 at the time, because he wanted her "out of the way" so he could start a new life with his mistress.

The jury was told how Mrs Venables was reported missing by her husband in May 1982.

Her remains were found at the bottom of the septic tank in the grounds of their former home in Kempsey, Worcester, in July 2019.

Venables has denied murder.

The jury were told the Fred West explanation was ridiculous, and that Venables was responsible for his wife's death.

Mr Burrows said: "She didn’t end up in the tank by accident, this wasn’t a suicide."

The trial continues.