A woman accused of murdering her reclusive parents in their Forest Town home has said that she hated her father and described a hellish atmosphere in the elderly couple’s home.
Susan Edwards (56) and her 57-year-old husband Christopher Edwards (pictured) both deny murdering William and Patricia Wycherley at their Blenheim Close home in May 1998.
The bodied of William (85) and Patricia (63) were both recovered from a makeshift grave in October last year and forensic examinations revealed they had both died from gunshot wounds.
But the Edwards claim that Patricia Wycherley shot and murdered her husband, and was then herself shot by Susan Edwards following an altercation.
They have admitted unlawfully disposing of the Wycherleys’ bodies and theft, after nearly £250,000 was taken from their bank accounts between the time of their deaths and 2013.
Susan Edwards has also admitted her mother’s manslaughter.
Giving evidence today (13th June) at Nottingham Crown Court, Susan Edwards described how she had spent hours sitting on the stairs after the deaths, waiting for the police and had agreed with her mother to take money from the Wycherley’s accounts so she and Patricia Wycherley could go away together.
She also said that she had paid for half of the Wycherleys’ former London home, but her father had later forced her to sign her name off the deeds.
Describing the night when the Wycherleys died, she said: “I heard a noise - I wasn’t sure what I had heard at that stage but it was a loud noise.
“I got up and went across the hall and I saw that the door to the other bedroom was ajar and the light was on.
“I went into the bedroom and saw my father on the floor and my mother standing over him. I knew my father was dead - I don’t know how but I just knew.
“She started saying things like I was an unwanted child and how she had wanted an abortion, and that she had been to bed with Chris and that she knew my father had abused me.
“At some point she threw the gun onto the bed and I picked it up to get it away from her. I kept saying ‘Please stop saying these things’, but she didn’t - she went on and on and on.
“At some point I lost it and I shot my mum. I don’t remember the physical act of pulling the trigger - it was more than once but I don’t remember how many times, and I think I closed my eyes.”
She told the court that she had put the gun in a draw at first and then wrapped it in carrier bags and thrown it in a bin in Mansfield town centre.
She also claimed that she had bought ‘around twenty cans of air freshener’ to disguise the smell of the bodies.
Speaking about her relationship with her parents, she said: “I tried to get on with my mother but I hated him, mainly for the abuse and the violence as well.
“They didn’t seem to have a relationship. I never saw her wear a wedding ring and there was nothing between them. My father said that I had made their house in London intolerable for him - he said he had terrible memories and he had to get away.
“My mother increasingly didn’t like him - she didn’t want to move to Mansfield, she preferred London. They didn’t seem to have a life together - she thought she was having to do everything for him and he was still controlling her.
“She had asked me to go up to Mansfield to go and help her with my father as she didn’t feel like she could cope by herself.
“There wasn’t a lot to do when I got there and I went out for some walks by myself to get away from the atmosphere in the house.
“She was drinking and he was horrible - he said on a few occasions that he didn’t want me in the house.”
Susan Edwards told the court that she then returned to London and concealed her parents’ deaths from her husband, only telling him when they returned to Mansfield the following weekend.
She said: “I didn’t know how I would tell Chris and I didn’t know what I was going to do. At first I was going to tell him where we lived but I didn’t and I made up a story and said they were going to Blackpool and my mother wanted us to look after the house.
“On the Friday we got fish and chips - we were hungry and there was a fish shop along the way. We were having our fish and chips and I said something like ‘I can’t stand it anymore, they’re upstairs’.
“Chris said, ‘What do you mean, they’re upstairs? They’re in Blackpool, what are they doing?’. So I took him upstairs and I told him they were under the bed.
“Chris said that we must call the police after I’d explained to him what had happened, but I didn’t want him to - it would have meant prison and I didn’t want that.
“I emotionally blackmailed him and I used the love between us for him not to call the police.
“Chris was in a dreadful state and I was in a dreadful state. It was my idea to bury them in the garden, Chris didn’t want to do it.
“He said we would be found out at some stage, and he was right.”
The case continues