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Relatives 'Got Cards From Murdered Couple'
Relatives of a couple who were shot dead and buried in their back garden received Christmas cards supposedly from them after their deaths, a court has heard.
The bodies of William and Patricia Wycherley lay undiscovered for 15 years at their home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, until a tip-off led police to the house.
Their debt-ridden daughter, Susan Edwards, and her husband Christopher, are accused of murdering the couple in May 1998 and stealing £245,000 in pension payments and benefits, up until their arrest last year.
Other relatives were unaware of the deaths.
Vivian Steenson, a niece of Mr Wycherley, told Nottingham Crown Court she had received correspondence from "Uncle Bill" before and after his death, that was supposedly from him, including a Christmas card in 2007.
A statement was read to the jury from another niece of Mr Wycherley, Christine Harford, who described getting a call from Mrs Steenson to ask if she'd "seen the news" about the couple's deaths.
She said Mrs Steenson said: "Maybe it was a suicide pact and I remember saying that didn't explain all the Christmas cards my mum had received."
Peter Joyce QC had earlier told the court that in 2011 Mrs Edwards sent a Christmas card to relatives saying her father was "having his second youth" and her parents were travelling in Ireland.
She stated that "I cannot really keep up with where he is planning to settle!" and "it is really good to see them with such zest".
A statement was read out saying Hilary Rose, another relative, recalled receiving a card from Susan Edwards saying her father was touring Ireland and "was going to travel until he died".
Ms Rose said her mother had received a Christmas card signed "Bill and Pat".
"She told me she'd been trying to call Bill but it kept ringing and ringing, she was concerned, she asked my husband to check on them in Mansfield but he was working in London and didn't have time," she stated.
The court has been told Mrs Edwards admits killing her mother due to "severe provocation".
In her account, her mother had already killed her father and an argument developed whereby Patricia Wycherley told her daughter she knew that she had been abused by her father.
She said her mother also claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Christopher Edwards in the early 1990s.
The prosecution does not accept the account.
Dafydd Enoch QC, defence counsel for Christopher Edwards, asked Mrs Steenson about how William Wycherley had reacted when his daughter married Mr Edwards.
Mrs Steenson said he had been "irrationally jealous".
The Edwards deny murder, but admit burying the couple.
The trial continues.