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Prosecution deliver final speech in Orleton murder trial
8:10am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A county undertaker may have been driven to kill his his wife when under the "intense pressure" of a new love affair, a jury has been told.
John Taylor was allegedly planning to leave wife Alethea after 16 years of marriage and live with 53-year-old widow Alison Dearden.
In his final speech, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said yesterday: "When passions run high, people are driven to act in ways they don't normally do.
"Love turns to hatred, resentment and anger. People use violence out of frustration to escape or snap and lash out.
"We may never know why he killed his wife. Maybe, he simply had had enough. He had been in an intense affair for some months. He was under immense pressure."
Taylor, aged 61, of Mortimer Drive, Orleton, denies the murder of his 63-year-old wife.
The Crown allege he killed the retired teacher and disposed of her body. She vanished without trace.
Mr Burrows said there had been 29 supposed sightings of Mrs Taylor after her husband reported her missing on Janaury 19 last year. But exhaustive police inquiries had ruled them out.
Despite checks on banks, buildings societies, hospitals, retreats, ports, friends and relatives, there was no trace of her being alive.
"You can be sure she's dead," he told the jury at Worcester Crown Court.
He claimed Taylor wanted his wife "to keep her mouth shut" after she discovered his new romance.
Mr Burrows said the explanation that a nose bleed caused Mrs Taylor's blood to be on bedclothes stretched credibility.
A woman who was always smart and proud of her appearance would have washed the duvet cover.
The QC claimed Taylor lied about his movements after his wife disappeared and made a bogus call to the home phone to divert suspicion.
Her glasses were found on a bedside cabinet. Her watch and jewellery were also discovered at the couple's bungalow.
The QC also ruled out as "fanciful speculation" that another killer had come to the village, attacked Mrs Taylor and kidnapped her.
Referring to the defendant, he said: "He must have intended to kill her or cause her really serious injury. His actions trying to hide the evidence show it was murder."
Ignatius Hughes QC, defending, criticised the prosecution for the "shameful" way they had spent large sections of the trial on Taylor's adultery and the text messages he sent to Mrs Dearden.
He emphasised that cheating on your wife did not make you guilty of murder.
Mr Hughes claimed the "tittle-tattle" that flowed from "the goldfish bowl" of Orleton was not evidence of a serious crime.
He said the police had made their minds up once they had learned of Taylor's love affair. Plainclothes officers had followed him before his arrest.
He dismissed as "nonsense" the prosecution's suggestion that the motive for murder was that Mrs Taylor had become an obstacle to his life with Mrs Dearden.
Mr Hughes said Taylor had everything going for him and had no reason to kill his wife. It would have been much easier just to walk out.
The QC told the jury they should not think that just because Taylor was an undertaker he knew what to do with a body.
The trial continues.