Pig farmer ‘went to have sex with mistress’ after ‘murdering his wife’

A retired pig farmer accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank so he could resume his affair with a nurse went to have sex with his mistress after the murder, a court has heard.

David Venables, 89, is on trial accused of murdering Brenda Venables, 48, in May 1982 and then hiding her body in the grounds of their marital home in Kempsey, Worcsestershire.

He reported his wife missing, but no trace of her was found until nearly 40 years later, a court was told.

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Police found remains, including a skull, bra and knickers, in the 5ft 6in deep cesspit behind the former farmhouse when it was being emptied, and Venables was subsequently arrested.

Jurors at Worcester Crown Court have heard how Venables suggested serial killer Fred West, who lived in neighbouring Gloucestershire, could have been behind his wife’s death.

On the third day of his murder trial, a statement from 1984 made by Venables’ mistress Lorraine Styles, who has since died, was read to the jury.

David Venables arriving in a taxi right to the steps of Worcester Crown Court today

A handout photo of Brenda Venables, whose remains were found in a septic tank outside the home she previously shared with David Venables

The remains of Brenda Venables were discovered in a septic tank (circled) at the couple’s former home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019

She told how Venables had gone round to her house two weeks after Mrs Venables’ disappearance where he appeared ‘calm’ and ‘composed’ and just watched TV.

Ms Styles, who was a care assistant for Venable’s mother, said: ‘I couldn’t understand why he was so calm about the whole situation.’

The nurse also described how Venables had tried to have sexual intercourse with her the same night but she refused his advances.

Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC read the statement to the court which laid out the full details of their 15-year ‘on and off’ fling.

In it, she said: ‘He was a frequent visitor to my home, three or four times a week and always late at night. This type of regular relationship carried on till 1981. It was about this time that I met another gentleman called Edward Day, I began to see him regularly, which helped me forget about David.

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

‘We struck up an immediate relationship, more of a friendly one than a permanent one. All of a sudden, just prior to Christmas 1981, David came back on the scene and making arrangements on my telephone.

‘He said that he missed me and wanted to resume the relationship. He asked to take me out and I agreed.

‘This renewed relationship led to go away for the new year of 1981/82. The day we returned home he asked me to give Edward up.

‘He even went so far as to say that he would see his solicitor about a divorce from Brenda and that we could live in his house. I told him that I could never live in his house so we started discussing about buying my house. I believed he was sincere in what he was saying.

‘In February 1982, I finished my association with Edward Day because of the promises that David had given me.

‘He still called round once or twice a week and we had a normal sexual relationship. However, he was still vague about his home life whenever I brought it up and gave excuses.

‘On 12th May 1982, it was middle daughter’s 21st birthday and we were going to hold a small party for her.

‘David said he would come to the party and promised my daughter he would. In the meantime we promised to go out in the week. But as he did usually, he let me down again.

‘I never saw him again until he contacted my by telephone a week before my daughter’s birthday – in other words May 5.

‘He seemed quite composed and suddenly told me that his wife had disappeared the day before and wanted to tell me before I read it in the paper.

‘He said she had gone in the night and the first he knew was in the morning when the front door was open the following morning.

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

Venables, 89, arriving at Worcester Crown Court on June 8, 2022

‘He said Brenda had appeared quite normal the night before. But the following morning she had disappeared. He went on to say that he’d searched everywhere without success. He said that the police were involved and were searching the area.

‘It said it was difficult really as everything was so busy on the farm.

‘I was concerned about the situation and contacted him to see if there was any news, but there wasn’t.

‘He called round at the house about two weeks later but didn’t seem to want to discuss it.

‘I couldn’t understand why he was so calm about the whole situation, he just sat and watched television.

‘Later in the evening, he eventually got round to making advances towards me, it was quite obvious that he wanted to have intercourse. I refused his advances.

‘I didn’t see him for a few weeks again and our relationship continued. I told him I couldn’t understand why she had apparently gone to bed quite normally and then without any indication whatsoever she suddenly disappeared without trace or informing anyone of her intentions.

‘He just answered that by saying that she had been a bit run down with the flu.’

A retired police officer also recalled how Venables was very ‘matter of fact’ and ’emotionless’ when interviewed by cops nearly four decades ago.

Pictured, the septic tank where Mrs Venable’s remains were found in July 2019

Giving evidence, retired officer Richard Schwab said: ‘The gentleman told us that he and has wife had gone to bed and at some time during the night she got up.

‘He described himself as being half asleep and he didn’t see her again after that. I seem to recall him saying 2am.

‘I do have a memory of him talking about a holiday that had just happened or was about to happen. Switzerland was the place I seem to recall was mentioned.

‘He was very calm, it was very matter of fact. No real great sign of emotion. Just a purely very factual report about what had happened.

‘I recall outside of the house with a colleague who was with me about whether the lady had ran away to the river to self harm. Some mention must have been made of her mental health.

‘We did a precautionary sweep of the house. I recall going into the bedroom where she had gone mussing from.

‘There was nothing unusual about it. The bed was unmade.’

Venables, who still lives in Kempsey, is on bail and denies murder.

The trial continues.

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