WYCHERLEY TRIAL - ‘We quite literally had blood on our hands’

editorial image
Have your say

The bodies of William and Patricia Wycherley were lugged down the stairs in the dead of night and man-handled into a makeshift grave, Nottingham Crown Court was told today (Monday 9th June).

Giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial, prosecutors read excerpts from Christopher Edward’s police interview, following his arrest in October last year for the murders of the reclusive pensioners.

Edwards (57) and his 56-year-old wife Susan Edwards both deny murdering the Wycherley’s in May 1998.

Daughter Susan Edwards has admitted the manslaughter of Patricia Wycherley, who she claims murdered her husband William following a row.

In his interview with officers from the East Midland Major Crime Unit, shortly after his arrest at St Pancras Station, in London, Christopher Edwards (pictured) told police that his wife cut the clothes from her parents bodies, wrapped them in bedding and hid them under their bed at the Blenheim Close home in Forest Town.

She then returned to London and took her husband back to Mansfield the following weekend, only telling him about the bodies as they ate fish and chips downstairs, the court heard.

Edwards claimed that his wife had been to visit her parents at their Forest Town home, but the visit had been difficult as her mother had been frustrated at William Wycherley’s failing health and cantankerous manner, and accused their daughter of ‘driving them out of London’.

“William Wycherley was like something out of a DH Lawrence novel,” Edwards told police. “He had a strong personality and he used it effectively.

“Susan had cut their clothes off them and put them in duvet covers - I looked under the bed and there were these two forms underneath and that was enough for me.

“We didn’t have a car so we couldn’t get them anywhere so it had to be the back garden. Susan spent a lot of time sitting on the stairs waiting for the police to come.

“Guns make quite a lot of noise and she assumed that someone must have heard it, but they didn’t.

“We stood over the hole trying not to fall in and we dropped her into it - literally dropped her in.

“You could hear various gurgling noises as all the blood came out - we quite literally had blood on our hands.”

The Edwards then returned to the upstairs room and brought the body of William Wycherley downstairs and putting him in the grave on top of his wife, the court heard.

The court was also read a statement from Elizabeth Edwards - Christopher Edwards’ stepmother, who he confessed to burying the Wycherleys in the days before his arrest.

Mrs Edwards, who was too unwell to travel to Nottingham to give evidence, told police that she had asked friends and relatives for advice, and then rand police in London, who were investigating Christopher Edwards disappearance after he fled to France.

“When I retrieved my messages from Christopher - he said he needed to speak to me urgently and that he would call me again,” she said.

“I hadn’t heard from him for months and I was relieved that he was still alive but I thought that he needed money.

“When he called back he spoke very quickly but he seemed relaxed. He told me that Susan had woken up and heard her parents shouting and went into their room where her father lying on the floor.

“Her mother told her that she knew her father had had sex with her when she was a teenager, and that she had had sex with Christopher. Then she had picked up the revolver and shot her mother dead.”

Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the jury that the Wycherleys were both shot twice with a .38 revolver over the May Bank Holiday weekend of 1998 at their Blenheim Close home.

“The prosecution case is that Susan Edwards’ parents were shot and killed by them over that bank holiday weekend,” Mr Joyce told the court.

“They were shot using a .38 revolver and over that bank holiday weekend they were not just shot but they were also buried in their own back garden.

“Over the next 15 years and in order to continue stealing money and to keep up the pretence that the couple were still alive, they lied to family members, they lied to neighbours, and they lied to financial institutions - they lied to everybody. They deceived everybody into thinking William and Patricia Wycherley were still alive.”

The case continues.