Cheating farmer who ‘hid wife’s body in septic tank’ said Fred West murdered her

A cheating husband who allegedly murdered his wife and shoved her body in a septic tank where she remained for 37 years claims notorious serial killer Fred West was behind her death.

David Venables, 89, is accused of brutally killing his wife, Brenda so he could rekindle a "long-standing" affair with his mistress in 1982.

The cunning husband "got away with murder" until her skull was discovered almost four decades later in a cesspit in 2019, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Jurors were told the "skeletal" remains were found at the farmhouse he had previously shared with Brenda in Kempsey, Worcestershire and he was subsequently arrested.

It has been reported that Venables disposed of her body in the septic tank because it was the "perfect hiding place."

On Tuesday (June 14) the jury were told how he had already prepared a written statement when police officers arrested him on July 30, 2019.

He suggested Fred West, who killed at least 12 people between 1967 and 1987 in neighbouring Gloucestershire, could be linked to Brenda's disappearance, reports Gloucestershire Live.

In the 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 metres from the tank, it would have been very easy to gain knowledge of the tank without suspicion.

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

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

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