Pig farmer accused of wife’s murder was ‘quiet’ on ‘call about her disappearance’

FILE IMAGE??? Linked to today's SWNS story SWMDmorder June 13, 2022, of how David Venables, 88, is brought to trial at Worcester Crown Court after being accused of murdering his wife Brenda Venables, 48, in 1982 . He was arrested after her remains were found in a septic tank at the couple's former home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019. David Venables, 86, leaves his bungalow in Kempsy, Worcestershire July 19, 2019. Venables' wife Brenda disappeared in 1982 from their marital home on the outskirts of the village where police have discovered human bones in a cesspool. See SWNS story SWMDbones. Police have arrested an 86-year-old man on suspicion of murder after the remains of a woman were found in a septic tank. The human bones found in the cesspool are believed to be those of Brenda Venables, who disappeared in 1982. The 48-year-old disappeared at her home, Quaking House Farm, where she lived with her husband David in Kempsey, Worcs. Workers found the remains there on July 12 and police have dismissed speculation it could be real estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared in nearby Pershore in 1986. Local residents say the remains are those of Ms Venables. Her husband, now 86, sold the farmhouse in 2014 for €467,000 and now lives in a bungalow a mile away in the village. A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said:

David Venables is said to have been having an affair at the time of his wife’s disappearance (Image: SWNS)

A retired pig farmer accused of murdering his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank is said to have been “quiet” in the days after reporting her disappearance to police.

Prosecutors allege that David Venables, 89, “got away with murder” for nearly 40 years after the death of Brenda Venables.

Worcester Crown Court heard that in the months leading up to Mrs Venables’ disappearance in 1982 he had rekindled a long-standing “on-off affair”, with details of his relationship with Lorraine Styles coming to light.

In 1981, 14 years after they met and began a sexual relationship, she met another man – but ended things after Venable’s ‘promise’ to divorce his wife, the court was told.

According to a statement given to police by the late Ms. Styles in 1984, Venables called her on May 5, 1982, the day after he reported his wife missing to police.

“He seemed quite composed and suddenly he told me that his wife disappeared the night before and he would call me to let me know before I read it in the paper,” she said.

Ms Styles added: “He called about two weeks later but didn’t mention it.

“I couldn’t understand how he got through the whole episode so calmly. He just sat and watched TV.

David Venables, 89, arrives at Worcester Crown Court where he is accused of murdering his wife Brenda, whose remains were found in a septic tank. Venables, of Elgar Drive, Kempsey, was charged with murder in June 2021, more than two years after his wife's remains were discovered at the couple's former home in the Worcestershire village. She, then 48, was reported missing in 1982. Picture date: Wednesday June 8, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS Kempsey. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

Venables, 89, denies murdering his wife Brenda (Image: PA)

“He started making advances on me and it was pretty obvious that he wanted me to have intercourse.”

Finally, in 2019, Mrs Venables’ remains were found in the subterranean chamber of the former marital home, Quaking House Farm, in Kempsey, Worcestershire.

The jury was told today that Ms Styles, who died of lung cancer in 2017, had had clear conversations with Ms Venables.

The defendant’s mother was cared for by then-married Ms Styles in 1967 – and they began the affair after the “sociable” Venables began driving her home, prosecutor Michael Burrows said.

She claimed Venables visited her “three or four nights a week” and described the relationship as “pretty serious.”

But fearing he was dating someone else, she became “depressed” and attempted suicide, resulting in hospitalization.

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Weeks later, after learning that his wife knew about the affair, Ms. Styles went to the farmhouse to speak with her.

“We discussed the situation quite reasonably; There were no raised voices,” she told police.

“Brenda pointed out that David had no intention of leaving home or family, and my affair hadn’t been the only time — it hinted at others (had happened).”

Ms Styles resumed her nursing career and is said to have considered Venables “a thing of the past”.

But in 1973 or 1974 she came home and was “surprised to see David Venables waiting outside in a red Triumph”.

She explained, “[Venables]said he looked for me about three months — and that’s where our union started again.”

FILE IMAGE ? Linked to today's SWNS story SWMDmorder June 13, 2022, of how David Venables, 88, is brought to trial at Worcester Crown Court after being accused of murdering his wife Brenda Venables, 48, in 1982 . He was arrested after her remains were found in a septic tank at the couple's former home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019. Newspaper clipping from the Worcester News reports the disappearance of Brenda Venables in 1982. Human bones were found in a septic tank in a Found house formerly owned by farmer David Veanables - 37 years after his death, Brenda disappeared. See SWNS story SWMDbones. Human bones found at the bottom of a septic tank are believed to belong to a farmer who went missing 37 years ago. Brenda Venables disappeared from her home in the village of Kempsey, Worcs in 1982 at the age of 48. Maintenance workers found human remains at Quaking House Farm on Bestmans Lane last Friday (12/7) - where Mrs Venables and her husband David lived. The discovery was initially believed to be linked to the search for murdered real estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in nearby Pershore, but police have ruled this out.

A newspaper clipping from the time of the disappearance (Image: SWNS)

In 1981, however, Ms. Styles began to doubt whether Venable’s feelings were genuine, jurors heard — and she met a new man.

A few weeks after Ms Venables’ disappearance, Ms Styles – who says she initially turned down Venables’ advances – admitted she continued the relationship “like a fool”.

But her doubts surfaced again when she saw his car parked in front of an address in Worcester.

‘He came out of the house accompanied by a woman. They both got into his car … it was obvious that this was the other woman I suspected he was meeting,” she said.

Later, on the phone, she claimed “he told me bluntly that he couldn’t see anything in common with her.”

“For me, that was the end of my 14-year relationship.”

But although the sexual relationship ended, the couple stayed in touch practically until her death.

After moving to nearby Droitwich, Ms Styles asked the family to put a letter through Venable’s door asking for “some company” around 2014/15, the court heard.

Sally Wyllie, Ms Styles’ youngest daughter, recalled, “I overheard him apologizing for the way he was treating her.”

Venables visited her “every Friday after that” until weeks before her death, they had an argument “about their food” and he “didn’t visit her again.”

The jury also heard from retired West Mercia Police Officer Dick Schwab, who went to the farmhouse on May 4, 1982 following the disappearance of Ms Venables.

He claimed Venables “told us that he and his wife went to bed the night before and that she got up sometime during the night” – and he didn’t see her again.

Mr Schwab was told by Venables lawyer Timothy Hannam QC that his client’s case was “he didn’t tell you that”.

Describing Venables’ behavior at their meeting 40 years ago, Mr. Schwab said: “It was very calm, very matter-of-fact”.

Venables of Elgar Drive, Kempsey denies murdering his wife.

The process, scheduled for six weeks, continues.

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MORE: The farmer accused of murdering his wife 40 years ago tried to blame Fred West.

https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/15/pig-farmer-accused-of-wifes-murder-was-calm-on-call-about-her-disappearance-16835001/ Pig farmer accused of wife's murder was 'quiet' on 'call about her disappearance'

Justin Scacco

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