Husband accused of murdering former Blackheath teacher had a secret lover, court heard (From Halesowen News)
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Husband accused of murdering former Blackheath teacher had a secret lover, court heard
7:50am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Local
THE secret lover of an undertaker, accused of murdering his wife, has told a jury she thought the former Blackheath Primary School teacher had left him because she had found out about their affair.
Giving evidence at John Taylor’s murder trial, Alison Drearden said his 63-year-old wife, Alethea, had called at her home to tell her of her love for him, adding that he could be difficult to live with.
Mrs Taylor’s subsequent disappearance on January 19 2012 had cast a “black cloud” over their relationship, which broke down shortly before Taylor’s arrest in June, she told Worcester Crown Court.
The 60-year-old undertaker had claimed his wife was suffering from the onset of dementia and a major police search was launched when he reported her missing from their home in from Orleton, Herefordshire. Her body has never been found.
Written testimony from her GP Richard Dales stated she had no history of mental health problems, other than one episode of work-related stress while working as a teacher in 2001.
Michael Burrows, prosecuting, said a trail of eyewitness accounts, text messages, phone records and camera footage challenged Taylor’s own statements to police over the disappearance of his wife.
Traces of Mrs Taylor’s blood was found on the couple’s bedding and on the rear seats of Taylor’s car and she kept secret notebooks detailing the apparent breakdown of their relationship.
Mrs Drearden, aged 53, from the nearby village of Brimfield, said after her husband died in November 2010 Taylor started sending her text messages and red roses.
Their affair began in August 2011 and in the months after his wife’s disappearance, Taylor asked her to move in with him.
But she said the disappearance was hanging over them both, she was uncertain about the future, and when they split up in May he became upset and angry.
The court also heard it was after the break-up of her first marriage and while holidaying in Jersey that Mrs Taylor met her future husband.
Taylor, married to another woman at the time, left his wife and later moved to a bungalow in Orleton with Mrs Taylor, whom he married in 1996.
The trial continues.