The murder jury said police search for the missing farmer’s wife was delayed in 1982.


1982 Police search for the wife of a missing “loving and fit” farmer whose husband is accused of killing her and throwing her into a septic tank, a court hearing has been delayed for 24 hours.

Retired “gentleman farmer” David Wennables, 89, is said to have “escaped murder” for nearly 40 years after allegedly disposing of his wife, Brenda Wennables, shortly after. A “long-standing relationship” was revived.

The remains of the 48-year-old Mrs. Weinbell were found in 2019 in an underground cesspool at Quick House House Farm, a former marital home on the Worcestershire campus.

Weinbell later advised officers that Fred West may have something to do with his disappearance.

Septic tank at Quick House Farm where Mrs. Weinbell’s remains were found (Richard Vernals / PA) / PA Archives

Worcester Crown Court has previously heard Venables, now 49, revived a “long-standing” relationship with his mother’s former carer a few months before his wife went missing.

At Vanbables’ trial on Friday, a retired West Mercia superintendent of police revealed that the search for Ms Venables had been halted after a constable advised Venebles that “if she (still) had not returned. So report it later. “

Wembley went to the police station in the village of Campsie on the morning of May 4, 1982, and, following the officer’s advice, did not retry to report his wife’s disappearance until 7.30 pm on the same day, when he was logged in.

By then, according to Superintendent James Ashley, it was “too late” for Mrs. Weinbell to make a full search in broad daylight.

A partial local search of the farmhouse began this evening, with dog handlers searching the grounds and surrounding woods before the light failed.

I was unhappy with the officer’s actions.

Mr Ashley, who retired in 1993, said in a statement read out to the court that “it appears I was unhappy with the officer’s actions” when the constable advised the vanables to wait for a formal report of the disappearance. Was

The retired senior officer expressed his displeasure at the fact that the constable had noted that he “thinks Brenda Weinbell may have considered suicide.”

“I don’t remember how that assumption was considered,” Mr Ashley added. In a critical report, written to the local inspector on May 5, 1982, he said: “He (Venables) finally re-reported at 7.30 pm. It is too late to start the search – but now a busy Is.

“I want to know who spoke to David Wembley and why the missing persons report was not accepted at that time.”

In a report two days later, he said: “I have spoken to the constable and informed him of my views.”

Explaining the effect of the delay in court, Mr Ashley said in a statement that with a report not formally filed by 7.30pm, the superintendent’s shift was over by then.

He only found out about Mrs. Weinbell’s disappearance the next morning when he “started the inquiry on his own” and added, “I must assume it was because the case was initially But how was it handled? “

Mr Ashley said he had never known or discovered a septic tank.

Searches continued in and out, on land, with police launches used on nearby waterways, and by air, by charter Bell 47 helicopters.

He was calm, even when I asked him if he was involved in his wife’s death.

In 1983, Detective Chief Inspector Roger Morris – now retired – who had no previous involvement in the case, reviewed the case and summoned Wembley to his office.

Mr Morris said in a statement: “He presented himself as a normal gentleman, saying, ‘I will do whatever I can to help.’

“He was calm, even when I asked him if he was involved in his wife’s death.”

Van Abels of Elgar Drive, Campus, denied killing his wife between May 2 and May 5, 1982, and the trial will last six weeks.