ALETHEA TAYLOR MURDER TRIAL: Week one round-up

John Taylor is accused of murdering his wife Alethea and disposing of her body. She vanished around January 18/19 2012.

John Taylor is accused of murdering his wife Alethea and disposing of her body. She vanished around January 18/19 2012.

First published in News
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Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FUNERAL director John Taylor 61, from Orleton stands accused of murdering his wife Alethea, 63, and disposing of her body while having an affair with another woman Worcester Crown Court hears.

Round-up of the key points so far:

  • The prosecution at Worcester Crown Court claim he killed her and disposed of her body on January 18 or 19 2012. Alethea vanished without trace at that time. 
  • Prosecuting, Michael Burrows said Mr Taylor was having an affair with Alison Dearden, from nearby Brimfield and was actively promoting his belief that Alethea was in the early stages of dementia.
  • The court also heard Mr Taylor had bought a house in Leominster and was renovating it, with the intention of moving in with his mistress.
  • It heard Mrs Taylor secret notebooks detailing the apparent breakdown of their relationship.
  • Jurors were told Mrs Taylor's blood had been found on the couple's bedding and the rear seats of her husband's car. Mr Taylor claimed this was from a nosebleed, though according to the prosecution a forensic scientist had ruled out the possibility the blood had dripped and there was an indication of “contact” marks where the skin had touched the sheets.
  • The prosecutor said Mr Taylor was spotted vacuuming the boot of his vehicle, despite telling police he was somewhere else at the time.
  • Eye witness accounts, phone records, text messages and camera footage put Mr Taylor in the frame for the murder of his wife, the court heard.
  • He maintains when he left his wife on the morning of 19 January, she was alive and well.
  • The prosecution says the only possessions missing were Mrs Taylor's night-dress, while her glasses, a bracelet, passport, and bank cards all remained in the house.
  • The court heard that Alethea had no obvious signs of mental health issues when she vanished over a year ago.
  • Evidence was heard from Mrs Taylor’s GP, Richard Dales. He said she had no history of mental health problems, apart from a work related stress episode in 2001.
  • Worcester Crown Court heard Alethea told her friend Eve Martin that she kept a “worse case” envelope in a drawer. The contents of the envelope or the circumstances in which it should be opened were not divulged by Alethea, the court heard.
  • The court heard Mr Taylor told another undertaker Victoria Allen on more than one occasion that someone had to know where his wife was. Questioned by Ignatious Hughes, defending, she agreed that Mr Taylor was  "a man in a goldfish bowl in a small village expressing wonderment about what was going on and saying he had nothing to do with it."
  • The trial continues on Monday

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