Undertaker who murdered wife and disposed of body given life sentence

'Only you know what became of her' judge tells him

An undertaker who was today found guilty of killing his wife in their bungalow and disposing of her body has been given a life sentence, of which he must serve a minimum of 17 years.

John Taylor, 61, was convicted by a jury at Worcester Crown Court of having killed retired primary school teacher Alethea Taylor in 2012.

Mrs Taylor was last seen alive in January 2012 in Orleton, Herefordshire. Her husband reported her missing to the police, who immediately launched an investigation to locate her.

Jurors heard today that Taylor was having an affair with a woman from a neighbouring village at the time, and had spread rumours that his wife had dementia in the run-up to her disappearance.

Her body has not been recovered to date, and Taylor refuses to say what has been done with it.

David Elliott, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said Taylor had spun a “web of lies” to avoid justice.

“As the police began a search for Mrs Taylor, they began to arrive at the conclusion that she had not just wandered off, but that there was some form of foul play involved in her disappearance.”

The recovery of Mrs Taylor’s diary revealed her knowledge of her husband’s affair, and concerns for the future of their marriage. Her blood was later found in her husband’s car.

Mr Elliot issued a call for Mr Taylor to reveal what has been done with his wife’s remains.