Adrian Prout reveals where he buried his wife's body

 

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A wealthy farmer serving life for murdering his wife over a bitter divorce led detectives to the spot where he dumped her today as he finally confessed after years of lies.

Relatives of Kate Prout expressed their "shock" after killer Adrian Prout was taken under armed guard to the 276-acre farm they once shared.

Prout, 49, is understood to have come clean to his fiancee Debbie Garlick after failing a lie detector test inside prison.

As police revealed his dramatic admission, the greying convict was seen handcuffed to an officer at the million pound farm in Redmarley, Gloucestershire.

His admission from behind bars comes four years after he murdered Mrs Prout, 55, and exactly 12 months since her family last pleaded with him to reveal the truth.

Prout, who was convicted by a Bristol Crown Court jury of murdering his wife after she vanished on Bonfire Night 2007, always denied any part in her disappearance as he refused to help officers in their search for her.

Police - who said the priority was to bring peace for her family - warned it may still take some time before her remains are found.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said two officers received the "new and significant information" after visiting Prout yesterday in prison.

Friends had called for his release, claiming there had been a miscarriage of justice, while Prout maintained his innocence but Mr Atkinson said the killer had finally admitted the truth.

"Adrian Prout has admitted to those detectives that he murdered Kate Prout - something which he had always denied - and has now suggested that he disposed of her body on Redhill Farm in Redmarley," Mr Atkinson said.

"A detailed search of that location will be conducted next week; however, this will be a painstaking process so is likely to take some time. The scene will be guarded throughout the weekend."

Prout arrived at the farm just after 11.30am today and was led out of a people carrier surrounded by officers.

He was then transferred into a police car at the farm entrance and driven into a wood, where he remained for about 25 minutes.

The detective said Mrs Prout's family were being kept in constant touch with developments.

"The investigation into Kate Prout's death was challenging and complex, and ultimately led to Adrian Prout's conviction," he added. "This latest piece of information does not change that.

"Our main priority now is to recover Mrs Prout's body and enable her family to have some closure after the long ordeal they have been through."

Prout, who owned a successful pipe-laying business and ran a commercial pheasant shoot, is said to have told his fiancee that he strangled his retired teacher wife after a row and buried her body on his £1.2 million farm.

Ms Garlick is believed to have subsequently spoken to Gloucestershire Police about his confession.

The businessman was jailed for life in February last year and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years before he could be considered for parole.

Prout, who has fathered a child with Ms Garlick after his wife's disappearance, was thought to have strangled her and then used his expertise as a professional pipe-layer to bury her body.

Jurors heard that Mrs Prout had confronted her husband with an increased divorce demand the day before she went missing.

He had offered her a settlement of £600,000, but, after discussion with accountants, she decided to demand £800,000.

The last time anyone heard from her was at 3.29pm on November 5, when she called her bank, First Direct.

Since then no organisations have had any contact with her, including banks and passport agencies.

Even after Prout was jailed, police continued to search Redhill Farm for his wife's remains, but failed to locate her.

Prout's confession comes a year to the day after her relatives pleaded with him to reveal where he had hidden her body.

Her brother Richard Wakefield said in a statement: "Gloucestershire Police have informed us of the latest developments in the investigation into Kate's death, and they are keeping us fully updated.

"We have always wanted Adrian to tell us where Kate's body is, however, this news has obviously come as something of a shock to us.

"We would like to be given some time to come to terms with this news and do not wish to speak to the media at this time.

"Thank you for your understanding."

PA