Ex-farmer, 89, found guilty of murder after burying wife in septic tank

David Venables has been convicted of murder

A retired pig farmer who dumped his wife's body in a septic tank has been found guilty of her murder.

David Venables, 89, tried to blame infamous serial killer Fred West for the death of his wife, Brenda, during a month long trial at Worcester Crown Court. However, he was convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict on Friday (15 July).

The jury deliberated for almost 17 hours before finding Venables guilty of murdering his wife on either 3 or 4 May 1982.

His legal team argued infamous serial killer Fred West had links with the village of Kempsey, where Brenda disappeared.

They also suggested Mrs Venables could have left the couple's home and "either killed herself or met with or encountered someone who wished her harm".

Relatives described Mrs Venables as a kind, hospitable, and friendly woman. Following her disappearance, Venables was described as calm by those who knew him.

He later sought an annulment of his marriage.

Prosecuting, Michael Burrows QC said Venables had "got away with murder" for nearly forty years.

"The truth, say the prosecution, is that it was David Venables who killed her," he said.

"He wanted her out of the way - he wanted to resume his long-standing affair with another woman, Lorraine Styles."

"He knew about the septic tank in its secluded location. It was for him almost the perfect hiding place."

David Venables (L) Brenda Venables (R) Credit: PA/West Mercia Police

Burrows added: "For nearly 40 years, it was the perfect place and he got away with murder."

Venables has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced next Wednesday (20 July).

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