The case of a Worcestershire pig farmer who got away with murder for nearly 40 years after concealing his wife’s body in a septic tank had links to Droitwich.
David Venables, aged 89, was jailed for life in 2022 following the discovery three years earlier of his wife Brenda’s remains in the underground chamber. Brenda had disappeared from the Kempsey home they shared in 1982.
The prosecution alleged Venables wanted his wife gone after rekindling an affair with his mother’s former carer, fellow Kempsey villager Lorraine Styles.
Venables told Worcester Crown Court he fell for “good-looking” Brenda over “sandwiches and trifle” at Droitwich’s Winter Gardens, during a Worcester and Kidderminster Young Farmers social in 1957, when he was 25 and she was 23.
Brenda lived in Rushock, between Droitwich and Kidderminster, and Venables said he would stop in “for breakfast” on the way home from 4am trips taking produce to a Birmingham market.
The couple were married on June 1, 1960 at St Michael’s Church in the village. They moved into Quaking House Farm, Kempsey, eight months later.
Lorraine Styles died in 2017 but in a statement to police in 1984, which was read to jurors at the trial, she admitted her affair with Venables had lasted 14 years, from the late 1960s until 1982.
Lorraine later moved to Droitwich and remained in contact with Venables virtually up to her death.