Peter Smith Trial: Jury told Smith had denied Hilda Owen had a will

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A MAN accused of murdering frail Skegby pensioner Hilda Owen told work colleagues that she had not made a will - despite the fact that he had bought the will himself.

Peter Smith (48) had denied murdering the widow who was found dead at her West Hill home on 1st March 2007 after being beaten and strangled.

Yesterday (Wednesday), a jury at Nottingham Crown Court was told that Smith, who worked for the Department of Work and Pensions, had told colleagues that Hilda did not have a will shortly after she had died.

Leslie Cooper, who was one of his colleagues, told the court: “We had gone out for tea and were just sat talking.

“I said, ‘why would you murder Hilda if there was no will and no reason to do it?’

“He said, ‘there was no will so why would I do it?’”

Later yesterday afternoon, the jury was told that Smith had purchased a will kit from W.H. Smith on 19th February 2007 and it was handed to the police on 1st March.

The will, which had been signed by Hilda, had been witnessed by two men in her absence.

The prosecution allege that Hilda, who suffered from arthritis, was killed by Smith for her home and money because of his debts.

The case continues.