Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Undertaker jailed for wife murder

John Taylor has been convicted by a jury of killing his wife, retired primary school teacher Alethea Taylor

An undertaker who murdered his wife and disposed of her body has been given a life sentence with a minimum term of 17 years after being found guilty by a jury.

John Taylor, 61, was unanimously convicted at Worcester Crown Court of killing retired primary school teacher Alethea Taylor at their bungalow in 2012.

Mrs Taylor, 63, was last seen alive in January 2012 but nothing has been heard of her since .

"Only you know what became of her," High Court judge the Hon Mr Justice Flaux told him.

Taylor reported his wife missing to the police who immediately launched an investigation to locate her. Her body has never been found and Taylor has refused to divulge what he has done with it.

The concealment of the body was a serious aggravating feature the judge told him, and had been taken into consideration in adding to the minimum starting point of 15 years in jail.

"You have shown no remorse because you continue to deny you murdered her," Mr Justice Flaux told Taylor.

During his trial jurors heard the funeral director was having an affair with 53-year-old Alison Dearden from a neighbouring village, at the time. They were also told how he had been keen to spread rumours that his wife was losing her mind in the run-up to her disappearance.

Taylor, of Mortimer Close in Orleton, Herefordshire, had maintained throughout the trial that his wife was simply missing.

The judge told Taylor he believed him to have concluded his wife was "an obstacle to happiness" preventing him from having a relationship with Mrs Dearden.

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