WYCHERLEY MURDERS - How police got the Edwards back to UK

DCI Rob Griffin, heads the Police press conference in Nottingham about bodies found at Blenheim Close, Forest Town.
DCI Rob Griffin, heads the Police press conference in Nottingham about bodies found at Blenheim Close, Forest Town.

From the outset Susan and Christopher Edwards were prime suspects for the Wycherley murders after he had told his stepmother Elizabeth Edwards that Susan was responsible for her mother’s death.

The pair had also skipped the country days after the Department for Work and Pensions contacted them demanding to speak to William Wycherley as his 100th birthday approached.

Christopher Edwards had lied to his employers, saying that he needed to borrow £10,000 for emergency repairs on his step-mother’s home - then he had fled to France with Susan.

His employers Hallmark had eventually reported him missing when he failed to turn up for work, while he was living off their money in Lille, frantically job-hunting but failing to get any offers of work.

In the end the Edwards were broke - down to their last Euro - and at this point they decided it was time to turn themselves in.

Police in Nottinghamshire had obtained Christopher Edward’s email address and mobile number and had sent him messages and tried to speak to him over a four-week period, but apart from one brief conversation had been unsuccessful.

Then, out of the blue, Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin from the East Midlands Major Crime Unit, received a surprise email - it was from Christopher Edwards.

It read: “Dear DCI Griffin, Later on today we are going to surrender ourselves to the UK Border Force authorities at the Eurostar terminal at Lille Europe station.

“We would prefer to do this since my wife is already sufficiently frightened. Please could you notify the UK Border Force at Lille Europe so that they may expect us.

“I would also ask that you call or SMS me to confirm that you will do this. If you cannot get through to me (my last top-up having expired a few days ago) please E-mail me, so that we may be certain that we are expected.”

Police swung into action and the Edwards were met off the train at St Pancras, where they were both arrested and later charged with the murders of William and Patricia Wycherley.

DCI Griffin told Chad that he believes that the Edwards story - that Patricia Wycherley had murdered her cantankerous husband and Susan Edwards had then killed Patricia - may have been concocted, or at least fine-tuned while the Edwards were staying in Lille between September 2012 and October 2013.

He said: “When they left for France, they must have known it was not forever, so if they had not spent the past 15 years planning that story then they must have spent time working on it in the weeks before coming home.

“We had an email address and a mobile phone number for him. Initially he had responded but after that he had refused to engage for about a month.

“Then, pretty much out of the blue, he responded, and the next thing they turned up at the Lille Transport Hub and we were then in emergency contact with the Borders Agency to get him back into the country.

“But in the end it all relied on them getting on the train.”

Giving evidence in his trial, Christopher Edwards described how they had sat huddled together in silence as they travelled back to London on the Eurostar, not really speaking, knowing that police awaited them at the end of the line.

He said: “It was our plan to hide up in France for as long as we could. It wasn’t the case that we couldn’t take it anymore - it was the case that we couldn’t sustain ourselves anymore.

I had one Euro left in my pocket. We sat on the crowded train and we were very quiet.”

The press also played their part in bringing the Edwards to justice - agreeing not to report that police were looking for the oddball couple for fear of spooking them and hampering police efforts to get them back into the UK.

“The reason they went to France was because they knew the game was up in England,” DCI Griffin added.

“The Department for Work and Pensions had contacted them in order to access William Wycherley’s needs for benefit as he neared his 100th birthday, and for that you need to speak to someone face-to-face.”

PICTURED: DCI Rob Griffin.