An 89-year-old retired pig farmer, David Venables, managed to get away with his wife's murder for almost 40 years after killing her and hiding her body in a septic tank, heard the Worcester Crown Court.

The man, who hails from Kempsey, Worcestershire, hid his wife's body in a septic tank on his farm after killing her in May 1982.

Venables, who used to live in Kempsey with his wife, Brenda, alleged that she had disappeared as she was depressed about not being able to have children. He had reported her missing at Worcester police station on May 4, 1982.

"He said he had awoken that morning and that his wife was not in bed nor in the house. He also said she had been depressed," Michael Burrows QC, opening the prosecution case, told the jury.

The court heard that he was having an affair with a nurse, Lorraine Styles, at the time of his wife's disappearance. Styles had been the caretaker for his elderly mother. The police had failed to find Brenda Venables in 1982, and some people even believed that she had committed suicide.

Her remains were discovered only in 2019 when Venables sold Quaking House Farm to his nephew. Her body was discovered after his nephew invited contractors to clean the septic tank, which lies in a "rough", overgrown and "secluded" area, per a report in The Independent.

The prosecution argued that "it is beyond belief to suppose that Brenda Venables took her own life by climbing into the septic tank and that she somehow shifted the heavy lid and put it back in place above her so that there was no sign of any disturbance."

Burrows alleged that David Venables killed his wife so he could continue his long-standing affair with Styles, and that the septic tank "was the perfect hiding place," for him. Venables had been in an on-off relationship with his mother's former carer since 1967.

The nurse had even married another man during the said period, but the affair was rekindled just months before his wife disappearance.

"... even if someone did think to look inside the tank, her body would be hidden from view. And for nearly 40 years, it was the perfect place and he got away with murder," added Burrows. The trial in the case is still on.

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