‘I lost it. I shot my mother’: Dagenham woman denies murdering and burying parents but admits manslaughter
- Credit: Press Association Images
A former librarian accused of murdering her parents, burying them in their garden and claiming their pension for 15 years is expected to learn her fate this week.
Susan Edwards, 56, and husband Christopher, 57, deny murdering Patricia and William Wycherley while living in Valence Wood Road, Dagenham, in 1998.
Edwards, who admits her mother’s manslaughter, claims she “lost it” and shot Mrs Wycherley – then 63 – because the older woman had been taunting her.
“I asked her, ‘please stop saying these things and go away. Please stop saying these things’.
“She didn’t. She kept going on and on. It seemed like a long time. At some point I lost it. I shot my mother.”
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Edwards, now of no fixed abode, claims she had been staying at her parents’ house in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in May 1998, when, one night, she was awoken by a noise.
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She says she saw a light in her parents’ room and walked in to find Mrs Wycherley standing over her husband.
“I saw my father on the floor and my mother standing over him,” she said.
“I knew my father was dead. I don’t know how I knew – I just knew.”
Mrs Wycherley then allegedly told her daughter she had slept with Christopher Edwards, her own son-in-law, and that she knew Mr Wycherley, then 85, had abused Edwards as a child.
“I can’t describe how I felt,” she told jurors at Nottingham Crown Court. “I just lost control.” After shooting Mrs Wycherley, she said, she hid the gun and went home to east London.
She then persuaded her allegedly unknowing husband to return to the scene with her on the basis they were to mind the house while the Wycherleys were on holiday.
Only when back at the house, she added, did she tell her husband what she had done, and begged him to help her bury the bodies in the garden – where they remained until discovery in October last year.
The prosecution case is that the defendants killed the Wycherleys for the cash, claiming pension money and selling their house.
Edwards claims she and her husband claimed the pensions merely to alleviate suspicion.
The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict later this week.