The reclusive couple whose bodies were discovered in the back garden of their Forest Town home died as a result of gunshot wounds, a court has heard.
Giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court today (Wednesday 11th June) Home Office Pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton, who carried out post-mortem examinations on William and Patricia Wycherley, said their remains were discovered with bullets within the area of their chest cavities.
One of Mr Wycherley’s ribs had a groove in it where a bullet had hit the bone, while Mrs Wycherley’s remains had a shell lodged in her spine.
Dr Hamilton said that the location of the bullets suggested they would have passed through major organs and, in Mrs Wycherley’s case, her aorta, killing her very rapidly.
The Wycherley’s daughter Susan Edwards (56) and their 57-year-old son-in-law Christopher Edwards (both pictured) both deny murdering William and Patricia Wycherley, whose bodies were discovered at their Blenheim Close home in Forest Town, last year.
Susan Edwards has admitted the manslaughter of her mother, who she says she shot after Patricia Wycherley murdered her father and told her daughter that she knew William Wycherley had sexually abused her as a child.
Christopher Edwards claims that he was only told of the deaths a week later and helped his wife to bury their bodies. He told police that neither body smelt or showed signs of decay, which Dr Hamilton has refuted.
Dr Hamilton told the court that after a week in a warm room, the Wycherleys’ bodies would have shown signs of marbling and blistering of the skin, which may have come away as the Edwards carried the remains downstairs and dumped them in the makeshift grave.
He also told the court that their remains would have oozed a black fluid from orifices and would have created an ‘overwhelming’ smell.
“Two human beings left at an average of 12 degrees would have created a smell that would have overwhelmed everything else,” he said.
“If you left a chicken out at that temperature for a week it would create a smell that overwhelmed everything else, and here we are talking about two adult human beings.
“It’s pungent, it’s foul and it’s pervasive - on opening the door it would have been instantly apparent. It’s not a subtle smell.”
Entomologist Dr Martin Hall, from the Natural History Museum, in London, also told the court that no evidence of blow flies was found on either body, which suggested that they had been buried soon after they were killed.
Speaking earlier in the trial, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the jury that Mr Wycherley (85) and his 63-year-old wife were both shot twice with a .38 revolver over the May Bank Holiday weekend of 1998 at their Blenheim Close home.
“The prosecution case is that Susan Edwards’ parents were shot and killed by them over that bank holiday weekend,” Mr Joyce told the court.
“They were shot using a .38 revolver and over that bank holiday weekend they were not just shot but they were also buried in their own back garden.
“Over the next 15 years and in order to continue stealing money and to keep up the pretence that the couple were still alive, they lied to family members, they lied to neighbours, and they lied to financial institutions - they lied to everybody. They deceived everybody into thinking William and Patricia Wycherley were still alive.”
The case continues.