Widow cleared of killing husband inherits fortune

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THE WIDOW cleared of the murder of her millionaire husband has inherited around pounds 600,000 from his estate.

Linda Watson's counsel told the Old Bailey, when she was formally acquitted on Monday, that her husband Richard, who owned a computer company, had not left a will and at his death she did not stand to gain.

But last night her solicitor, Chris Lewis, confirmed that Ms Watson, 44, will inherit money, including an amount from the proceeds of the marital home in East Grinstead, Sussex, which was sold for pounds 230,000. Friends of Ms Watson point out she would have got much more from a proposed divorce settlement discussed last year with her husband.

Ms Watson and her 23-year-old daughter, Amanda London-Williams, say they are taking legal advice on suing the police for their ordeal. Their lawyers are considering claims, ranging from wrongful arrest to malicious prosecution, after the case collapsed when the prosecution offered no evidence.

If they bring civil proceedings, mother and daughter would have to give evidence in court, something they did not have the opportunity to do at their brief Old Bailey appearance. Ms Watson's lawyers say she has no fear of going into the witness box to be cross-examined.

Having been formally found not guilty, Ms Watson and Ms London-Williams cannot be charged again with murder.

Ms Watson says she has no confidence in the way Sussex police handled the investigation, and she has withdrawn her pounds 30,000 share of a pounds 50,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

Next week, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service meet to pick up the pieces and decide what to do next. Detectives say there are people out there who hold the key to what happened on the night Mr Watson was murdered. And, they insist, they will get to them.

Tale not over, page 3