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Judge advises jury in Orleton murder trial
2:38pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
The jury in the trial of the Herefordshire undertaker accused of murdering his wife were warned by a judge today to put emotion and sympathy "on the back seat".
Mr Justice Flaux began his summing up at Worcester Crown Court by saying that the disappearance of 63-year-old Alethea Taylor was tragic and shocking.
And he advised the jury of five men and seven women to set aside any personal views on morality because the defendant, 61-year-old John Taylor, was conducting an affair with widow Alison Dearden.
Taylor, of Mortimer Drive, Orleton, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife who has not been seen since she disappeared on January 19 last year.
Police have made 150 checks to try and trace her. Nothing resulted and no body has been found.
Taylor claimed that his wife, a former teacher, was suffering from the early stages of dementia. But villagers called to give evidence maintained that she was outgoing and outspoken as a member of the church choir.
The court has heard that Taylor began his relationship with 53-year-old Mrs Dearden, of Brimfield, after he had carried out the funeral arrangements following the death of her husband.
Defence counsel Ignatius Hughes has submitted that although Taylor was an adulterer, it did not make him a murderer.
The summing up will continue tomorrow.