Beds, Herts & Bucks

William Taylor trial: Lovers' violent messages were 'rubbish chat'

William Taylor Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption William Taylor was reported missing on 4 June 2018

A woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband told a court messages she exchanged with her lover about killing him were "rubbish chat".

The body of farmer William Taylor, 69, was found in a river near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in February - eight months after he was reported missing.

Angela Taylor, 53, said WhatsApp messages with lover Paul Cannon, 54, were them "venting frustrations".

The pair, on trial at St Albans Crown Court, deny murdering Mr Taylor.

Mrs Taylor began dating Mr Cannon in 2016, but did not tell anyone or think the relationship was going to last, jurors heard.

Giving evidence for the first time, the mother of four said: "I didn't want anyone to know, I didn't want to hurt the kids, I didn't want to hurt Bill."

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption William Taylor was reported missing by his lodger

Before Mr Taylor's disappearance, the two lovers shared violent and sexual messages, the court previously heard.

Mrs Taylor sent a message in which she said she wanted to "get shot" of Mr Taylor.

"It was just a phrase you say... I don't mean actually shooting someone," she told the court.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption After his disappearance, police officers searched a farm belonging to Mr Taylor's estranged wife Angela

Mr and Mrs Taylor married in 1997 and had three children together, while Mr Taylor also had an older son.

Mrs Taylor described her marriage as "very difficult" and said many problems were to do with his son from his previous marriage.

She told the court her husband and his son had fallen out and the stress prompted her to leave in 2015.

A post-nuptial agreement was put in place, but she told the court: "I didn't want a divorce, he didn't want a divorce."

She also said how she received a "love letter" from him three weeks before he disappeared.

The couple are accused alongside Gwyn Griffiths, 60, of conspiring to murder Mr Taylor.

Mr Griffiths, of Folkestone, Kent, was also accused of murder, but the charge was dropped following evidence he gave last week.

The trial continues.

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