Wealthy killer John Taylor will not inherit wife Alethea's cash

An undertaker found guilty of the murder of his wealthy wife will miss out on a £500,000-plus cash windfall he stood to inherit from her, it was revealed today.

John Taylor and wife Alethea
John Taylor and wife Alethea

John Taylor was jailed for life and told he would not be considered for parole until he was nearly 80 years old after a jury unanimously ruled he killed Alethea Taylor, his wife of 16 years.

The retired primary school teacher was reported missing from the home they shared in Orleton, near Ludlow, on January 19 last year and has not been seen since.

Today the Shropshire Star can reveal the extremely healthy state of the couple's finances – as police confirmed Taylor had lost all entitlement to cash, property and investments in their joint names and others solely in hers as a result of his conviction this week.

Worcester Crown Court had heard during the course of the five-week trial – where Taylor, 61, protested his innocence throughout – that Alethea had more than £62,000 in individual accounts solely in her name.

The couple also had nearly £50,000 in joint bank accounts and just short of £100,000 in investment funds which required the signatures of both parties to release.

The family fortune was completed by two properties they jointly owned outright – the £200,000 bungalow in Mortimer Drive, Orleton, they lived in and the £110,000 'love nest' in Leominster police say Taylor conned his wife into buying and where he eventually planned to flee with his mistress Alison Dearden.

Taylor did have more than £80,000 in five individual bank accounts – a figure swelled by the transfer of £10,000 from the joint bank accounts in the first couple of months after his wife's disappearance and before he was charged with her murder.

He will be able to keep that – but police confirmed today his conviction would mean surrendering any claim to the rest of the estate, of which he was to be the sole beneficiary on childless Alethea's death.

Detective Inspector David Williams, who led the murder investigation that eventually brought Taylor to justice, said: "We suspect that Taylor was motivated by greed.

"He stood to gain from Alethea's personal wealth and joint saving policies, as well as becoming the sole owner of the two properties they owned, if she was no longer alive.

"We know that he was planning to set up a new life with his mistress in a house he was renovating in Leominster, so it also suited his private life to have Alethea out of the way.

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