Birmingham & Black Country

Susan Whiting murder: Steven Beards guilty

Steven Beards Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Steven Beards was found guilty of raping and killing Susan Whiting who had learning difficulties

A man has been found guilty of raping and murdering his wife's friend, whose body was found hidden under his bed.

Susan Whiting, 20, was found wrapped in a shower curtain at Steven Beards' home in Bloxwich, Walsall, Leicester Crown Court heard.

He had denied the charges, claiming that he was sleeping in the woods on the night of the murder.

Jurors are still considering a verdict on his wife, Julie Beards, who is also accused of murder.

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Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Susan Whiting suffered a fractured skull and was found dead under a bed, the court was told

Miss Whiting, who had learning difficulties, went missing in August after spending a night at the Beards' home.

She was found the following day having been drugged, raped and hit on the head at least three times, jurors heard.

Image copyright Helen Tipper
Image caption The jury is considering a verdict on Julie Beards (left) who is also charged with murder

Mr Beards, who denied rape, told the court he had "no idea" why evidence of his sperm had been found at the crime scene.

He said he intended on being a sperm donor and had a sample in the bathroom.

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