Stephen Seddon guilty of murdering parents in Sale

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Media captionStephen Seddon murdered his parents for an inheritance of £230,000

A man has been found guilty of shooting his parents dead after failing to kill them by driving a car into a canal.

Stephen Seddon, 46, of Benevente Street, Seaham, Durham, was convicted of two counts of murder and attempted murder at Manchester Crown Court.

The jury heard how last July Seddon drove to the home of his parents in Sale, Greater Manchester, to kill them in order to inherit £230,000.

Months earlier he was hailed a hero when they survived his car crashing.

Sawn-off shotgun

Seddon had tried to murder his father, Robert Seddon, 68, and mother, Patricia, 65, by driving into the canal with them strapped in the back seats in a faked road accident.

Four months later he killed the couple with a sawn-off shotgun at their suburban home.

Seddon showed no emotion in the dock as the jury returned its verdict following the five-week trial.

Image caption Robert and Patricia Seddon were "devoted" to their son, police said

There were cries of celebration from the dead couple's relatives in the public gallery as the verdict was read out.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, described Seddon as the ultimate "ungrateful son" who had an "insatiable thirst for cash".

His parents had already given him £40,000 and bought him his home in Seaham.

Seddon had previously lived a luxury lifestyle as a company director, but he pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading in 2000 and then relied on his parents for money.

The couple, married for 47 years, made a will in October 2009, naming each other as beneficiary if one of them died, with their estate worth £230,000.

If they both died, their son Stephen "got the lot".

Veered off carriageway

The court heard Seddon hired a BMW on 20 March and drove from his home to Manchester on the pretext of treating his parents to a surprise meal.

With his parents and nephew in the car, Seddon drove along a stretch of road beside the Bridgewater Canal in Timperley, south Manchester.

The jury was told the vehicle then veered off the carriageway and into the water.

He was found guilty by a majority of 11 to one on each count following more than 18 hours of deliberations by the jury.

'Catalogue of lies'

Cheryl Hramiak, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Seddon had been "brought to justice for the violent and premeditated murders".

She said: "He had planned these crimes in enormous detail and went to great lengths to cover his tracks and avoid detection.

"After his failed attempt to kill his parents by driving the car into the canal he even presented himself as a hero for trying to rescue them."

She added: "The jury has consequently rejected his version of what happened when he drove the car into the canal and his bogus, and outlandish, accounts of the day that he killed his parents. They have recognised them for what they are - a catalogue of lies."

The 46-year-old will be sentenced on Thursday 28 March.

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