A RETIRED farmer lied to police about an affair and the circumstances around his wife's disappearance after police arrested him, a jury heard.

David Venables, 89, is accused of the murder of his wife Brenda Venables in May 1982.

Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said Venables was arrested on July 30, 2019, 18 days after Brenda’s remains were found in a septic tank.

Cotswold Journal: TRIAL: David VenablesTRIAL: David Venables

A search of Venables’ home in Elgar Drive, Kempsey, took place and on the rear seat of the car was a notebook with a written note entitled: “This is a true and honest statement of fact with regard to the disappearance of my wife Brenda Margaret in May 1982”. 

The prosecutor said: “David Venables had obviously been expecting to be arrested and interviewed and was preparing what to say.

“He said Brenda had been unwell for some time with depression, back pain and influenza. 

"He said he had last seen her when they went to bed at about 10.30pm.

“He woke up at about 6.30 in the morning and realised she was not there. 

"He had no idea of her whereabouts until the police came and told him that human remains had been found in the septic tank at Quaking House Farm.”

Cotswold Journal: FARM: Quaking House, where Brenda Venables went missing. Picture: SWNSFARM: Quaking House, where Brenda Venables went missing. Picture: SWNS

The prosecution alleges Venables killed Brenda to continue a long-standing affair with Lorraine Styles.

Mr Burrows said: “In (police) interviews, David Venables lied about the affair and sought to downplay its significance. 

"At first, he said he saw Lorraine Styles 'for maybe a year' in the 'sort of mid-70s' and that it was sexual “on one or two occasions”.

“Later, when details of what Lorraine Styles had said were put to him, he disputed that it was a relationship.

READ MORE: David Venables 'got away with murder of Brenda Venables'

READ MORE: David Venables trial: Timeline from Brenda Venables disappearance

“He did not argue with the suggestions that he was still in the relationship after his wife’s disappearance and that he had been 'very selective' in what he had told the police about it."

Finishing his opening statement  Mr Burrows said: “There was nobody else there (at the home) other than David Venables.

“He killed her, he had the motive to kill her.

"He knew Brenda would never divorce him. To him, Brenda was an obstacle."

Cotswold Journal: DISAPPEARANCE: Brenda Venables went missing in 1982DISAPPEARANCE: Brenda Venables went missing in 1982

The first witness called was Douglas Robinson, employed by the Venables' and lived at the farm in 1982.

Mr Robinson told the jury he had been away when Brenda went missing and when he returned to work there was talk of her disappearance.

Mr Burrows asked: "Were any of the staff asked to help in the search?"

"No," Mr Robinson replied.

Cotswold Journal: SEARCH: Searches were conducted of Bestmans Lane after Brenda Venables disappearanceSEARCH: Searches were conducted of Bestmans Lane after Brenda Venables disappearance

The jury of 14 was reduced to 12, five men and seven women, who will hear the trial at Worcester Crown Court - which is expected to last around six weeks.

The trial continues.