Remains found in hunt for Kate Prout's body

 

Human remains believed to be those of Kate Prout, who was murdered by her husband four years ago, were found by police today.

They were discovered close to where Adrian Prout told police he had buried her body after dramatically confessing last week to the murder.

Specialist forensic experts and cadaver dogs have been searching woodland on the £1.2 million farm in Redmarley, Gloucestershire, for four days.

Prout, 49, had previously maintained that his wife disappeared in November 2007, but he was convicted of her murder in February last year.

On Friday he was brought to the farm from his prison cell in handcuffs and took detectives to the area where he believed he had buried the 55-year-old.

Speaking at a police cordon at Cobhill woods Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, of Gloucestershire Police, said: "At one o'clock this afternoon we have found human remains close to the location Adrian Prout identified as the place he buried his wife.

"No formal identification has taken place; however, we have informed Kate's family of recent developments.

"I do hope that this will be the final chapter of these harrowing events for Kate's family."

Prout's admission came to his fiancee, Debbie Garlick, a year after Mrs Prout's family last pleaded with him to reveal the truth.

Ms Garlick told ITV Westcountry he had revealed the truth during a prison visit last week.

"He just confessed," she said.

Asked what he said, she replied: "I am sorry, I did ..."

Today, on her way back from a prison meeting with Prout, she told the broadcaster he had not known about the discovery during her visit, and that her thoughts were with Mrs Prout's family.

The former teacher's relatives had expressed their shock after Prout finally revealed where he had buried her body.

The remains found by police are due to be removed with formal identification expected in the coming days.

Gloucestershire Police, who in 2007 launched one of their largest police searches to find Mrs Prout, described the search over the past four days as "challenging".

Specialist dogs, trained to locate decomposed bodies, were taken to the site along with a body deposition expert who was flown in by helicopter.

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

"We have been searching for nearly four days, and that perhaps gives you an indication of just how tough it has been," Mr Atkinson said.

"Adrian Prout has not been able to give us a precise location and that's why it has taken so long, but it's within the area he indicated."

Police have used diggers and forensic archaeologists, as well as cadaver dogs in the extensive search of an area of dense woodland that measured 33ft (10m) by 66ft( 20m).

Police were joined by a team from Specialist Group International, based in Surrey, who are leading experts in forensic search and recovery.

Ground penetrating radar was also used and two mechanical diggers worked in tandem with two teams of forensic archaeologists who assessed the geography of the land that was being searched.

On Tuesday the search was widened beyond the area inside a pheasant enclosure Prout used to run shoots before he was jailed.

Prout's confession from behind bars came after he failed a lie detector test.

Prout, who fathered a child with Ms Garlick after his wife's disappearance, was thought to have strangled 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 have had any contact with her, including banks and passport agencies.

Despite no body being found 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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor