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
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine