Retired farmer, 89, accused of murdering wife and dumping her body in septic tank blames Fred West


Fred West killed my wife: Retired pig farmer accused of murdering 48-year-old and dumping her body in septic tank so he could resume affair with nurse blames House of Horrors serial killer instead

  • David Venables is accused of murdering his wife Brenda at their home in 1982 
  • It is alleged he killed her and dumped her body in a septic tank on their farm
  • Her remains were found in the tank in July 2019, 37 years after she went missing 
  • The 89-year-old, of Kempsey, Worcestershire, denies one charge of murder

An 89-year-old retired pig farmer accused of murdering his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank so he could resume an affair with his nurse has blamed serial killed Fred West.

David Venables is alleged to have killed his wife Brenda, and hidden her remains in the tank at their home in Kempsey, Worcestershire, in May 1982.

He reported his wife, who was 48 at the time, missing, but no trace of her was found until nearly 40 years later when police found remains, including a skull, as well as a bra and knickers, in a cesspit at their former farmhouse in July 2019.

The octogenarian was arrested after the ‘skeletal’ remains were discovered at the farmhouse he had previously shared with his wife in Kempsey, Worcester. 

On Monday, jurors were told he killed Brenda, aged 48 at the time, because he ‘wanted her out of the way’ so he could resume a ‘long-standing’ affair with his mistress Lorraine Styles. 

The court was told how he then disposed of her body in the septic tank because it was the ‘perfect hiding place’ to get away with murder for almost four decades.

On the second day of the six-week trial, jurors at Worcester Crown Court were told today how Venables had already prepared a written statement when police officers arrested him on July 30, 2019.

He suggested notorious serial killer Fred West, who killed at least 12 people between 1967 and 1987 in neighbouring Gloucestershire, could be behind his wife’s death.

David Venables is alleged to have killed his wife Brenda, and hidden her remains in the tank at their home in Kempsey, Worcestershire, in May 1982

David Venables is alleged to have killed his wife Brenda, and hidden her remains in the tank at their home in Kempsey, Worcestershire, in May 1982

The octogenarian was arrested after the 'skeletal' remains were discovered at the farmhouse he had previously shared with his wife in Kempsey, Worcester

The octogenarian was arrested after the ‘skeletal’ remains were discovered at the farmhouse he had previously shared with his wife in Kempsey, Worcester

Venables suggested notorious serial killer Fred West (pictured), who killed at least 12 people between 1967 and 1987 in neighbouring Gloucestershire, could be behind his wife's death

Venables suggested notorious serial killer Fred West (pictured), who killed at least 12 people between 1967 and 1987 in neighbouring Gloucestershire, could be behind his wife’s death

West – who killed himself aged 53 in 1995 – abducted, tortured, raped and murdered young women over a 20-year period with his evil wife Rose, 67, in their house of horrors.

Their victims had missing fingers, their heads taped up and pipes up their noses so they could breathe during the torture they endured – and many were buried underneath the floorboards of their home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.

In Venables note, he also claimed his wife just disappeared one morning after they had spent the previous night watching the Falklands War unfold on TV.

Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC read extracts of the statement to the jury, which said: ‘The evening before we had been watching television about the invasion of the Falkland Islands.

‘We discussed money which we would require for our holiday in Europe. I thought that a holiday would be beneficial for Brenda.

‘We went to bed at 10.30pm and about 6.30am I woke up and she wasn’t there.

‘I’d assumed she’d gone downstairs to make some tea. After a short while she didn’t appear.

‘At the same time as Brenda’s disappearance, Fred West of Gloucester was picking up women.

‘In fact, after Brenda went missing, I had a phone call from a lady to say that she had been picked up by West and had escaped.

‘Since then, I have often thought that this is what could have happened to Brenda.

‘When the time came when he wanted to get rid of her, being a builder, he would have no doubt found out where she lived.

‘He’d have thought a septic tank was an easy place to dispose of her body.

‘There was a public footpath three to four meters from the tank, it would have been very easy to gain knowledge of the tank without suspicion.

Brenda Venables, pictured, was 48 years old when she went missing in May 1982. No trace of her was found until 37 years later when her remains were found in a septic tank

Brenda Venables, pictured, was 48 years old when she went missing in May 1982. No trace of her was found until 37 years later when her remains were found in a septic tank

Mr Venables now lives in a bungalow about a mile away from the farmhouse where the remains were found

Mr Venables now lives in a bungalow about a mile away from the farmhouse where the remains were found

‘If there was no crop on the adjacent field, a vehicle could have easily driven right to the tank. This is purely a possibility.’

Concluding his opening statement Mr Burrows QC said the idea that Brenda had committed suicide or was killed by somebody else was ‘fanciful.’

He added: ‘She couldn’t and didn’t fall in it by accident. It stretches credibility beyond belief to suggest this was suicide.

‘She didn’t write a suicide note, she hadn’t in the conversations been threatening the night before to commit suicide.

‘There is no suggestion that she overdosed. There’s a river close by, she could’ve drove there but she didn’t.

‘She wouldn’t have got up in the night, got dressed to go outside to commit suicide by climbing into the septic tank.

‘She wouldn’t go out the front door, the back door was closer. She was not the sort of woman to leave the front door open.

‘She was a prim and proper lady. She wouldn’t choose to end her life in a septic tank, nobody would.

‘That’s why pathologists have found no record of anyone committing suicide by climbing into a septic tank.

‘The idea that she may have climbed into the tank voluntarily, and somehow moved the heavy lid and somehow put it back in its place above her with no disturbance is one the prosecution say you can safely reject.

‘If Brenda Venables had woken in the night and heard someone outside, she wouldn’t have got up alone, and gone out to confront them on her own, she would’ve woke her husband.

‘She had bad ankles and had hurt her leg, she didn’t like walking. She would never choose to walk out of the house at all in the middle of the night.

‘The idea that she got dressed and walked out of the house on her own, and confronted someone who attacked and killed her and hid her body in the tank that was hidden from view and that so few people knew about, is fanciful.

‘As is any suggestion that she was killed elsewhere.

Mr Venables, pictured here at his home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019, denies murdering his wife

Mr Venables, pictured here at his home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019, denies murdering his wife

‘Nobody else was there except David Venables.

‘He had a motive to kill her. He had a long-standing affair with another woman, Lorraine Styles.

‘In 1982, he was telling Lorraine Styles he wanted to live with her and get a divorce. Brenda Venables knew he would never leave the house or farm.

‘He knew that Brenda Venables knew about the affair and he knew that she would never divorce him. To him Brenda was an obstacle.

‘He has lied about his relationship with Brenda Venables, it wasn’t perfectly normal.

‘They’d not had sexual intercourse since 1969 and had not slept together for three years.

‘He’s lied not only about his relationship with Brenda but lied and downplayed his relationship with Lorraine Styles.

‘The relationship was of a much greater significance than David Venables was willing to acknowledge.

‘David Venables has lied about the circumstances of Brenda Venables disappearance and death.

‘She wasn’t wearing a nightdress and slippers like he told police, but day clothes and shoes. He must have realised that her clothes and shoes were missing.

‘He would be the only person to know what was missing.

‘But he kept silent as it would be a lot harder to explain how she went missing in the day without him noticing and alerting police and others sooner.

‘In his interview in 2019, he said the police had searched the tank in 1982 but there is no record of this.

‘Back in 1982 the police treated this as a missing person enquiry. They didn’t have a body.’

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, continues.

Source

Related posts