Kate Prout inquest - teacher was 'unlawfully killed'

5:47pm Thursday 3rd May 2012

A VERDICT of unlawful killing has been recorded on Kate Prout, the 55-year-old retired teacher who was murdered by her husband Adrian in November 2007.

Although her body was not found, Adrian Prout was convicted of her murder last year but continued to protest his innocence - until he dramatically confessed to police that he had buried her body on their farm.

He then took police to the spot where she was buried at 276 acre Redhill Farm, near Redmarley, which the couple had jointly owned.

At the inquest in Gloucester today, assistant deputy county coroner Katy Skerrett heard that Prout had snapped and grabbed his wife by the throat on November 5, 2007 when she said she intended to embarrass him in front of clients at a pheasant shoot he was running the following day.

Detective inspector Steve Bean of Gloucestershire Police told the inquest that Prout confessed to wrapping the body in a carpet and plastic sheeting and putting it in his Range Rover.

"To make everything appear normal, he then went to a local pub for the evening," he continued. “He drove around the farm looking for somewhere to bury the body and he settled on an area called Cophill Wood, where he buried it under a pheasant pen."

He said Prout then took officers to the area where his wife was buried and was tearful and remorseful.

“He apologised to Mrs Prout’s family and friends and said he realised he should have told them right from the start," he said.

At the time of Mrs Prout’s disappearance, police spent weeks at the farm digging over large swathes of land, with hundreds of officers involved searching the fields and woodland.

She was reported missing by her husband on November 10, 2007 - five days after she had last been seen alive.

Adrian Prout, a wealthy civil engineer who ran a pipe laying business and a pheasant shoot, denied all knowledge of her whereabouts but was convicted of her murder in February 2010 at Bristol Crown Court.

Four years later he underwent a lie detector test at the insistence of his fiancée Debbie Garlick, to add weight to his campaign to prove his innocence.

But when the test proved he was lying he dramatically confessed to her and she called the police.

Police used dogs trained to seek dead bodies and archaeological experts during their four-day search of Redhill Farm, which eventually uncovered human remains. Mrs Prout was identified by her dental records.

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