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Murder trial - missing wife 'suffering from a brain tumour'
10:28am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
A HEREFORDSHIRE undertaker accused of murdering his wife told a villager she was suffering from a brain tumour, a jury heard.
John Taylor made the disclosure to bank manager Geoffrey Lewin a month after Alethea Taylor disappeared from her Orleton home last January.
Mr Lewin told Worcester Crown Court he was “very shocked” by the revelation.
The witness, a treasurer for a number of clubs in the village, said Taylor reported his wife was waiting to see a specialist and her illness had become evident in a number of ways.
While playing the piano she would suddenly burst into tears as she remembered her late father, he said. And at a New Year's party she had started crying again.
The defendant also spoke to him about financial problems, Mr Lewin told the jury.
In June last year the pair met again in Leominster.
Taylor claimed police had not informed him of any developments but he was “not in the dock so to speak” as his passport had not been confiscated, said Mr Lewin.
The funeral director also said the business was struggling because bereaved families found it difficult to deal with him in the light of events.
The jury also heard that on February 9 last year, friends Hazel Bows and Olga Goodwin were walking six miles away from Orleton when they saw Taylor hand-in-hand with secret lover Alison Dearden.
Mrs Goodwin said in a statement to police: “He was in such a happy mood considering what had happened.”
They were "taken aback" by the discovery because they had helped in the search for Mrs Taylor.
Taylor, aged 61 and from Mortimer Drive in Orleton, denies murder.
He says his wife disappeared while in the grip of dementia.
The trial continues.