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Yolande Waddington: Burgess 'confessed murder to prison officers'

image captionYolande Waddington was last seen alive on 28 October 1966

Three retired prison officers have told a court how a man accused of murdering a nanny in the 1960s confessed to them while in jail.

David Burgess, 64, denies murdering Yolande Waddington, 17, in the village of Beenham in October 1966.

At the time of the alleged confessions he was in prison for murdering two nine-year-old girls in 1967.

Yolande's naked body was discovered in a ditch. She had been tied up, stabbed and strangled.

William Malcolm, John Gilchrist and Derek Murray, who are now in their 70s and 80s, told Reading Crown Court what they had heard Mr Burgess say 43 years ago.

All three men were prison officers working in the high security wing at Durham Prison, where the then 21-year-old Mr Burgess was starting a life sentence for double murder.

First to take the stand was Mr Malcolm, who said he had built a relationship with Mr Burgess while at the prison.

'Mad with pain'

He said in February 1968 in his cell, Mr Burgess had said he had conspired with others to murder Yolande after she had become aware of his gang's petty criminal activity.

Mr Malcolm said the prisoner had told him "she needed to be put out of the way".

Mr Burgess also told Mr Malcolm that he had lured her to the barn and stabbed her, but that it was the gang's leader who had strangled her with baling twine, jurors heard.

image captionDavid Burgess was at Durham Prison when he allegedly confessed

Statements from other officers, who have since passed away, were also read out to the jury.

They remembered Mr Burgess talking about the death penalty saying: "It's funny, the only murder I did I never got done for."

The prosecution has said it is unlikely Yolande was at the barn against her will and the evidence of prison officer Mr Murray supported that.

He told the court Mr Burgess had told him in 1969 that he had gone to the barn with Yolande for a consensual sexual encounter but that it had gone wrong and Yolande had changed her mind and injured him.

Mr Burgess said he had been "mad with pain, stabbed her and then strangled her", Mr Murray told the court.

Defending, Joel Bennathan QC said the confessions had only come out after officers had interrogated Mr Burgess, and he suggested some did so after meetings with senior police officers in the case.

Mr Burgess was arrested last year after DNA tests on items at the scene matched his genetic profile, the jury previously heard.

Yolande was a nanny who had moved to Beenham a few days before she was murdered.

She was last seen alive at the Six Bells pub on the evening of Friday 28 October 1966.

The trial continues.

More on this story

  • Yolande Waddington: Witness tells of 1966 murder find

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