Beds, Herts & Bucks

William Taylor: Farmer 'got wife's lover the sack'

William Taylor Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption William Taylor's body was discovered eight months after he was reported missing

A wealthy farmer was found dead after he got his estranged wife's lover sacked from his job, a jury has heard.

The body of William Taylor, 69, was found in a river near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in February, eight months after he was reported missing.

His wife Angela Taylor, 53, her partner Paul Cannon, 54, and his work colleague Gwyn Griffiths, 60, deny murder.

Mr Taylor's son said his father found out Mr Cannon was having an affair with his wife and told Mr Cannon's boss.

Richard Taylor, William Taylor's son from his first marriage, told St Albans Crown Court that when Mr Taylor found out about the affair he was "massively affected" with "disbelief, sadness, anger".

Went to quarry

His father confronted digger driver Paul Cannon about the affair and was told to "put up or shut up".

He then went to the quarry where Mr Cannon was working.

"My father put across what had gone on and, from what my father told me, he got him the sack," Mr Taylor said.

Mrs Taylor, of Charlton Road, Charlton, near Hitchin, and Mr Cannon, of Pirton Road, Hitchin, and Mr Griffiths, of Lucy Avenue, Folkestone, deny murder on or about 4 June last year and an alternative lesser charge of conspiracy to murder between 12 February and 5 June.

Mrs Taylor and Mr Cannon also deny arson of the farmer's Land Rover between 25 May and 28 May last year.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Police officers searched a farm belonging to Mrs Taylor

The farmer was reported missing on 4 June. His body was found on a bank of the River Hiz, near Hitchin, two miles from his home at Harkness Hall, Gosmore.

The jury has been told that Mr and Mrs Taylor agreed in August 2015 to a deed of separation, in which William and Richard Taylor took out a £1m loan so Angela Taylor could buy Mill Farm and Dog Kennel Farm, near Hitchin.

The trial continues.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption William Taylor was reported missing by his lodger

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