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Undertaker John Taylor murder trial
6:02pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
AN undertaker accused of murder denied he was having an affair when police questioned him about it on the night of his wife's disappearance, a jury has been told.
Police found out about John Taylor's relationship with Alison Dearden while they were investigating the disappearance of his wife Alethea on Thursday, January 19 last year.
PC Leatte Clarke told the jury at Worcester Crown Court that Taylor was asked about the relationship and said they were “just friends”.
The 61-year-old denies murder. He claims his 63-year-old wife, who previously lived in The Broadway, Dudley, had dementia and had wandered off on two previous occasions before she disappeared. She has not been found.
The jury has already heard from Mrs Dearden that she and Taylor were having an affair.
PC Clarke said she had looked around the house where a family friend had shown her the bedroom where a bracelet was on the bedside table. The friend said Mrs Taylor never went out without the bracelet because it had been a present from her father.
Earlier, PC Alan Tobey told the court he had arrived at Taylor's home in Mortimer Drive, Orleton, north Herefordshire, to investigate and he was there with several friends. Taylor told him he had last seen his wife that morning before he left to wash a hearse in preparation for a funeral. He returned home at 10.45am to drop off buckets in the garage but did not go into the house and did not see his wife.
He then went to do some work on a property he had bought. She had been due to join him there but he called her several times and got no reply.
Villagers said he had gone round the village in the afternoon asking if anyone had seen her that day, becoming more anxious and close to tears.
PC Tobey said friends and neighbours had joined police teams with dog handlers searching the area.
The trial continues.