Wife and son 'murdered husband for inheritance'

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The Independent Online

The wife of a wealthy businessman plotted his murder with her son because she wanted his money without the trouble of a divorce, a court was told.

Lynda Iddon, 56, harboured a deep hatred of Kenneth, her husband for more than 20 years, Preston Crown Court heard yesterday. She thought she might be rid of him when he developed potentially fatal throat cancer and made "no secret" of her displeasure when he survived, Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, told the jury. Mr Iddon, 57, was found in his garage at home in Greetby Hill, Ormskirk, Lancashire, beaten, stabbed and with his throat slit.

Mrs Iddon plotted with Lee Shergold, 31, her son from her first marriage, to have him murdered so she could inherit his money because her own money was dwindling, in part through her son's "profligate" spending, Mr Wright said.

"Lynda Iddon had been divorced before and she was not prepared to undergo such an experience again. [She] had a far swifter and more permanent removal of Kenneth Iddon from her life, in mind [and] high hopes of profiting from [his] death."

After the murder came a "bitter blow" for Mrs Iddon and her son, the prosecution said. They found Mr Iddon had bequeathed everything to his daughter, Gemma, and nothing to his wife and stepson.

His death in February last year was particularly brutal, Mr Wright told the jury. After leaving home in his BMW, he went for his usual Sunday evening game of snooker at Deanwood Golf Club in Upholland, Lancashire. But when he got home he was attacked in his driveway, his skull fractured by "extremely heavy blows".

He was then dragged into the garage and repeatedly stabbed. "At the end of this attack he had his throat slit and must have died moments later," Mr Wright said. "This was no random killing. This was a carefully executed plan designed to bring about the death of Kenneth Iddon." The body was found the next day. His wife was in the house when he was killed.

Mr Shergold had lived with his mother and stepfather before and "for years nursed a burning sense of grievance", Mr Wright said, and had planned to kill Mr Iddon. His mother had discussed it at least two years before, the jury was told.

Mother and son recruited three men to help them kill Mr Iddon, all of whom would also "not mourn his passing [but] on the contrary, celebrate it", Mr Wright said. The court heard Mr Shergold hired his former work colleague Christopher Pye, 33, who was to be rewarded with money. John Climo, Mr Pye's brother-in-law, was an "opportunist" who before the killing was overheard saying "If this job pays off we will all be going to Disneyland", Mr Wright said.

A third man, Rodney Bishop, 38, lived in a flat owned by Mr Iddon in Bootle, Merseyside, but the two did not like each other. Mr Bishop owed his landlord the rent and had threatened him before, the court heard.

Mrs Iddon and Mr Shergold, of Chorley, Lancashire, Mr Pye and Mr Climo, of Kirkby, Merseyside and Mr Bishop all deny murder. Terri Davies, 22, also of Bootle, is accused of perverting justice by providing a false alibi for Mr Bishop, her boyfriend.

The prosecution could not say precisely who killed Mr Iddon but all had a role to play and were involved in the murder, the court was told. Mr Shergold "organised and counselled" from afar and Mr Climo and Mr Pye were in "close proximity", Mr Wright said

Witnesses heard Mr Iddon's screams for mercy. One neighbour said he fell silent as the church clock chimed midnight. He suffered 35 head injuries and blood was splattered over his white BMW. Cause of death was a severed carotid artery.

A female juror broke down in tears as photographs of the murder scene were shown and proceedings were halted. The trial continues today.