Police confirm they have found Kate Prout's body

 

The family of Kate Prout, who was murdered by her husband four years ago, have spoken of their relief that police have found her remains and say they can now finally lay her to rest.

Mrs Prout's older brother, Richard Wakefield, said the years since she went missing in 2007 have been like a "prison sentence" for him and his wife, Linda, after Adrian Prout refused to admit to the murder.

Last week, Prout, 49, who was convicted of his wife's murder in February last year, dramatically confessed to killing her and took officers to an area of woodland on his £1.2 million farm in Redmarley, Gloucestershire, and revealed where he had buried her.

Tonight, police confirmed that human remains found on the farm were those of Mrs Prout.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: "I can now confirm that within the past 15 minutes the body recovered from Redhill Farm, Redmarley, yesterday afternoon has been formally identified as that of Kate Prout.

"The identity of the deceased was confirmed through the use of dental records."

Earlier Mr Wakefield, 61, who lives near Stroud, said his family would now be able to move on from the traumatic events of the last four years.

He said: "We've been like prisoners. It's been like a prison sentence for us, having this over our heads all this time.

"But now, that relief has come, so hopefully when we get Kate buried we can all get on in our lives."

Mrs Wakefield said that when police officers visited their home to tell them Prout had finally confessed to her murder they felt shocked but glad they may now be able to say goodbye.

"We have just been full of emotion. We were devastated by her death, we knew we'd never forget her but we thought this day would never come," she said.

"Over the last week, and throughout, the police have been great at keeping us informed but it still came as a shock when we got yesterday's news.

"It was always in the back of our mind that she might one day be found, this is what we've waited for and now we can say a proper goodbye at last."

Prout's admission came to his fiancee, Debbie Garlick, during a prison visit last week after he failed a lie detector test.

Ms Garlick told ITV Westcountry: "He just confessed." Asked what he said, she replied: "I am sorry, I did..." Ms Garlick is believed to have then told police about the confession.

Mr Wakefield said when they heard the news they were wary of believing it.

"We were shocked at first and we weren't quite certain whether it was the truth or not due to the lies he'd told in the past," he said.

When asked how they felt towards Ms Garlick Mr Wakefield said: "She is now in a similar position to us. She had originally been behind Adrian but now she's going to have to face the truth, and something she didn't expect at all." Mrs Wakefield added: "We're grateful to her for doing the right thing and coming to the police so that we could get to the position we're in today.

"We can now as a whole family move on. We'll never forget Kate but at least it looks like we'll be able to get her back so that we can say goodbye."

Police used specialist forensic experts and cadaver dogs trained to locate decomposed bodies in the search for the 55-year-old former teacher at Cobhill woods, which started on Monday.

Prout had shown officers an area of 300 square yards (250 square metres) on Redhill Farm but was unable to give the exact location.

Mr Wakefield went on: "We never had any doubt that Adrian killed her. I knew straight away after the first week that there was something drastically wrong, why Kate wasn't there.

"We didn't know how long it would take to bring her back to us, if at all. We now feel relieved to have Kate back and so that we can put Kate to rest at last."

Mr Wakefield, a farmer, who held hands with his wife throughout the interview, said the last week had been surreal but they were now on the final chapter of these harrowing events.

Mrs Wakefield, 57, who works in a doctor's surgery, added: "We can move on, the whole family can move on.

"We will never forget Kate and this has been such a traumatic event in our lives but hopefully because we can get her back and say goodbye properly it will just close the book.

"She will always be with us but it will be the right conclusion, we have got to the end." She added they hoped the whole family would be able to come together and remember Mrs Prout to say a proper goodbye.

"Obviously we've got to get to the funeral, but at least we know she's coming back to us."

Prout, who 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.

During the trial last year, 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 had any contact with her, including banks and passport agencies.

Despite no body being found at the time, a jury found him guilty of murder.

He was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court last year and told to serve a minimum of 18 years.

PA

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