In the Courts: Man accused of killing lover in bath says she fell and drowned after tiff

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The Independent Online
A man accused of the murder of a mother of three yesterday said he ran from the scene of her death because he was scared. Victor Farrant, 48, told Winchester Crown Court that accountant Glenda Hoskins died accidentally when she fell back into the bath at her home after they had had a tiff.

Mr Justice Butterfield said: "What I want to know is, if it was an accident, why you didn't seek help for her." Mr Farrant replied: "I was scared, I was nervous, I was worried." Jeremy Gibbons, QC, prosecuting, said: "This was a pre-planned murder, Mr Farrant." Mr Farrant replied: "It was an accident."

He denied holding Mrs Hoskins under the water. Mr Farrant has told the court that after her death he drove her car to Ashford, Kent, where he handed it to a friend and caught a ferry to Belgium. He denies the murder of Mrs Hoskins, 45, who was found by her daughter in the loft of their home at Portsmouth in February, 1996.

He denied there had been a struggle with Mrs Hoskins. Mr Farrant said he and Mrs Hoskins, who was separated from her husband, had a bath and they were drying themselves when they had a tiff. She pulled the towel from him and he pushed her and walked out to get dressed.

He said there was a crash and splash and has told the jury when he returned he found her lying in the bath. Mr Gibbons said: "That lady died in the bath, we agree on that, but you held her under the water, didn't you?" Mr Farrant replied: "Absolutely not." Mr Gibbons said there had been a full-blown argument followed by a struggle and he had forced her or put her in the bath and held her under the water, which would explain bruises on her face. "That didn't happen," said Mr Farrant. Mr Gibbons said: "How did you drown her in the bath, Mr Farrant?", and the defendant replied: "I pushed her and she fell the way I told you." He also denies the attempted murder of prostitute Ann Fidler, found slumped in the kitchen of her home at Eastleigh, Hampshire, the previous December.

Mr Farrant has told the jury he called on Mrs Fidler for sex, saw a man leave the house, and then found her body in the kitchen. He saw a man returning and fled from the house. When Mr Gibbons asked: "The only thing you were intent on in that house was killing Mrs Fidler, was it not?", he replied: "Absolutely not."