The daughter of William and Patricia Wycherley spent most of the cash they made from them in the years after their deaths.
At a hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (5 August 2014) Susan Edwards, along with her husband Christopher, were ordered to pay back as much as they could of their accumulated profits.
The couple, formerly of Dagenham in Essex, are serving life sentences after being convicted in June this year of murdering Susan’s elderly parents in May 1998. They had each been shot twice before being buried in the back garden of their Forest Town home. For the next 15 years the Edwards’ misled authorities and relatives into thinking they were still alive.
The pair, aged 56 and 57 respectively, had also pleaded guilty to obstructing the Coroner by burying the Wycherleys, as well as the theft of a credit balance.
Following a subsequent financial investigation by Nottinghamshire Police the Edwards’ were found to have stolen £40,579.87 from the Wycherley’s two bank accounts, just days after the murder. They redirected benefit payments, as well as state pensions and private pensions, to a new account in Susan and Patricia’s names and continued to collect over the next 14 years.
Evidence was also obtained to show that credit cards and loan agreements had been taken out in the name of Patricia. They also made nearly £67,000 from the sale of the Wycherleys’ home in 2005.
In total the Edwards’ were found to have made £286,285.36 from the murders.
On arrest Christopher had just £17.16 in his bank accounts. The joint account set up in the name of Susan and Patricia contained £8,797.62. The pair also had £2,939.32-worth of memorabilia, mostly relating to Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper in their suitcases when they were arrested off a train from Lille in France. This was confiscated under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
They will be expected to pay the remaining £274,531.26 as and when they can.
Financial Investigator Clare Dennis said: “This was an interesting case, not just because of the number of years the thefts and frauds spanned, but also because we had to work under an old piece of legislation, which pre-dates the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, due to the age of the crimes.