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Septic tank where woman’s body was found ‘unsearched’ in 1982

David Venables, the septic tank where Brenda's body was dumped, Brenda.

David Venables has been accused of killing his wife Brenda to be with his lover (Images: PA/Worcester News/SWNS)

Police officers searching for a missing woman in 1982 walked yards from the septic tank where her body was found 37 years later, a murder trial has heard.

David Venables, 89, is said to have “got away with it” for nearly 40 years after he allegedly dumped his then 48-year-old wife Brenda Venables in the cesspool of their home in Kempsey, Worcestershire.

Ms. Venables went missing between May 2 and May 5, 1982, but her remains were not found until 2019.

Worcester Crown Court jurors heard that Venables later suggested to officers that serial killer Fred West might have had something to do with the disappearance.

Police officers involved in the “high profile” search described how dogs, boats and a helicopter were used to search local waterways, fields, forests and farm outbuildings.

Retired West Mercia Police Officer Peter Sharrock was among the search teams but told how the septic tank appeared to have gone unnoticed.

He told the court Thursday: “I certainly never took part in the search of the septic tank. I walked past it to go to the river area for searches. No one mentioned searching the tank.”

The remains of Brenda Venables were discovered in a septic tank at the couple's former home in Kempsey, Worcestershire, in July 2019. The septic tank at Quaking House Farm where the remains were found. An 86-year-old man has been arrested for murder after human remains were found in a septic tank on a farm in Kempsey, Worcestershire FILE PICTURE ????????? Linked to today's SWNS story SWMDmorder 8 June 2022 on how David Venables, 89, will stand trial at Worcester Crown Court today charged with murdering his wife who went missing in 1982. The remains of Brenda Venables were discovered in a septic tank at the couple's former home in Kempsey, Worcestershire in July 2019. The septic tank at Quaking House Farm where the remains were found. An 86-year-old man has been arrested for murder after human remains were found in a farm septic tank, Kempsey, Worcestershire, 30/7/2019 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.

A police officer said no one thought to record the septic tank (Image: SWNS)

brenda

In 1982, dogs, helicopters and search teams were sent to find Brenda (Image: SWNS)

He explained how he saw a picture of the farm in a newspaper in 2019, in an article about human remains found there, and recalled searching for Brenda in the area.

He said: “As soon as I saw an aerial view of the site, I remembered seeing then what I was seeing now. When I saw it in the newspaper it triggered a memory in me.’

The retired officer told jurors he was “probably about 20 to 30 yards” from the tank during his search.

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.

The retired pig farmer denies killing his wife (Image: PA)

When asked why he never looked inside, he replied that he grew up in “urban areas” and was unaware of a sewer outside the public sewer.

He said: “We had been referred to the forest area and we were on our way to that area. At the time it just looked like a concrete block and I didn’t pay any attention to it. The word is hindsight, really.”

The court has already heard details of Mr Venables’ 14-year affair with the late mother-of-three Lorraine Styles, including how he visited his lover to have sex just days after his wife’s disappearance.

Venables denies murdering his wife. The process, scheduled for six weeks, continues.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/16/septic-tank-where-womans-body-found-not-searched-in-1982-16843214/ Septic tank where woman's body was found 'unsearched' in 1982

Justin Scacco

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