AN 89-year-old man killed his wife to “get her out of the way” so he could be with his mistress, a jury heard on the first day of a trial.

David Venables, of Elgar Drive, Kempsey, denies murdering his wife Brenda “on a day between May 2 and May 5 1982”.

Michael Burrows QC, opening the prosecution’s case, said Venables reported his wife missing to police on May 4, 1982.

Worcester News: COURT: David VenablesCOURT: David Venables

He said police did not find her body, and it was thought she had committed suicide.

Mr Burrows said Quaking House, the Kempsey home where the Venables had been living, was sold to nephew Andrew Venables before the skeletal remains of Brenda were found inside a septic tank in 2019.

Burrows told the jury: “In short it is beyond belief to suppose Brenda took her own life by climbing into the septic tank and somehow shifted the heavy lid and put it back in place above her.

“The prosecution say you can be sure she was unlawfully killed.”

Mr Burrows said few knew about the septic tank, and so it was “preposterous” to suppose that Brenda walked out of the house and was confronted by someone.

Mr Burrows alleged the truth was it was Venables who had killed his wife.

“For nearly 40 years, it was the perfect place and he got away with murder,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecution alleges the retired pig farmer killed Brenda to continue a long-standing affair with Lorraine Styles, who he met in 1967.

Providing details of the affair, Mr Burrows said Venables had led Mrs Styles to believe he wanted them to be together.

In 1970, after Mrs Styles learned Brenda had found out about the affair, the pair spoke and Brenda told Mrs Styles that she knew Venables had other affairs.

Mrs Styles went on to marry Derek Styles before they divorced.

After resuming their affair in late 1981, Venables discussed moving in with her at her Warndon home.

Lorraine Styles ended her relationship with Edward Day in February 1982 “in reliance on what David Venables had said to her,” Mr Burrows said.

The jury heard a few weeks after Brenda vanished, Mrs Styles saw Venables who made advances to her.

"She refused, because she was concerned about Brenda," Mr Burrows said.

"They continued their affair until November or December 1982. 

"By then he seemed to be losing interest in her."

Medical notes showed Brenda had seen consultant psychiatrist Dr Richards in February 1982.

Worcester News: TRIAL: Brenda VenablesTRIAL: Brenda Venables

“His notes indicate that she told him that she did not have a happy marriage and that she and David Venables had not had sexual intercourse since 1969," Mr Burrows said. 

"She said he had two affairs and that they had not slept together for three years."

On the first day of the Worcester Crown Court trial on Monday, (June 13) a panel of 14, nine women and five men, was selected.

The trial is expected to run for six weeks.

Venables is being represented by Timothy Hannam QC, and the trial judge is Mrs Justice Amanda Tipples.

The trial continues.