Shropshire Star

Man guilty for plotting to kill his wife in 1981 to start life with new lover

Allen Morgan, 74, was convicted of conspiracy to murder his then-wife Carol Morgan who was found hacked to death at the shop they ran in 1981.

Carol Morgan death

A man has been found guilty of plotting to kill his then-wife to start a new life with his lover more than 40 years ago.

Allen Morgan, 74, of Brighton, was unanimously convicted by a jury of conspiracy to murder Carol Morgan at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Carol Morgan, then aged 36, was found hacked to death at the convenience store she ran with her husband, then aged 31, in Linslade, Bedfordshire on August 13 1981.

At the time of the victim’s death, there was not enough evidence to charge anyone in connection with the case and her husband was not considered a suspect, the CPS said.

The convenience store in Bedfordshire ran by Carol and Allen Morgan, where Carol was found dead in 1981
The shop ran by Carol and Allen Morgan, where Carol was found dead in 1981 (Police/PA)

According to Bedfordshire Police, the case was reopened by detectives in 2018 following a review by a police cold case team.

Morgan was tried alongside his current wife, Margaret Morgan, 75, who was also charged with conspiracy to murder but was acquitted, police said.

The court heard that the killer, who has never been identified, used a heavy weapon to hack at Carol, causing fatal injuries to her body and skull.

The prosecution told the jury that Allen Morgan had been having an affair with the second defendant at the time of Carol’s death, but felt he could not divorce his wife because of financial issues.

After Carol’s murder, Margaret Morgan, who was then called Margaret Spooner, left her husband and moved in with Allen Morgan.

The couple later married and have been together ever since, the court heard.

The jury was told that a witness, who was 17 at the time of the murder, had come forward in 2021 and told police that Margaret Morgan had brought her to a pub where Allen Morgan had asked whether she knew anyone who could help him kill his wife.

Police custody image of Allen Morgan from 1950
Police custody image of Allen Morgan (Police handout/PA)

Over the nine-week trial, it was revealed that the killer had stolen cash from a secret drawer in the shop’s office, suggesting that they had been given inside knowledge and the money was part of the payment for the murder, Bedfordshire Police said.

In a statement, retired Detective Chief Superintendent Brian Prickett, who led the original investigation for Bedfordshire Police between 1981 and 1983, said: “Carol Morgan’s murder was vicious, and the image of the scene will remain etched in my memory forever.

“The fact this case remained undetected for over four decades has remained a thorn in the side of all the officers who worked on the case.”

The office desk and secret drawer were the unidentified killer stole money from
The unidentified killer stole money from a secret draw in the shop’s office, the court was told (Police/PA)

Detective Superintendent Carl Foster, of Bedfordshire Police, said: “Carol was effectively erased from all memory, including those of her own two children, who have grown up without their mother, being raised by the man responsible for her death.”

He added: “Allen Morgan has had more than 40 years of freedom that Carol will never have.

“He has today finally faced justice for the role he played in her murder.”

Lawyer Shan Saunders, of the CPS, said: “For decades, Allen Morgan hid the truth about how Carol died.

“However, when an investigation into her unsolved murder was reopened almost 40 years later, a thorough review of the evidence gathered by the original inquiry team together with new evidence from a witness was sufficient to link him to Carol’s death, enabling us to charge him with conspiring to murder her.

“With no CCTV or forensics available, we relied almost exclusively on testimonies from dozens of witnesses during the trial.

“The strength of their evidence was enough for us to prove that Morgan had plotted to kill Carol, and for the jury to subsequently convict him.”

Morgan will be sentenced on July 31.

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