Murder accused ‘told of plan to dissolve body’

Carol Hay. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Carol Hay. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A businessman accused of murdering the husband of his former girlfriend planned to dissolve his body in a barrel of sulphuric acid, a jury heard yesterday.

Kenneth Bill, 63, who had been in a relationship with Carol Hay in the 1970s, is alleged to have become obsessed with her after they started seeing each other again in secret last year.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Bill, who denies murdering 61-year-old former police officer John Hay, burning his body and attempting to cover it up by abandoning his car at the Humber Bridge, allegedly asked a co-director to “pick holes” in his various scenarios for murder.

Dean Blamires, who had known Bill for about 20 years, said he had been “half-listening” when his colleague talked about his on-off relationship with an “old flame” and did not take it seriously when he had outlined plans for getting rid of “the husband”.

He said Bill talked about taking the man to an industrial unit at Meltham Mills on the pretext of having a job for him to do and pushing him down a steep staircase, and “doing away with him”. He then planned to put his body in a plastic barrel containing sulphuric acid.

“Did he say why he wanted to do such a thing?” asked prosecutor Robert Smith QC. “So he could be with her,” replied Mr Blamires. “What did you say when he told you this?” asked Mr Smith. “If I remember right, ‘don’t be ridiculous’”.

He said he had mentioned to Bill it wouldn’t work in a barrel and the defendant later told him he had “solved that” by getting a 1000-litre container.

But Mr Blamires said in another pub conversation, Bill told him he now had a “Plan B” which involved killing Mr Hay and taking his body to the Humber Bridge so it would look as if he had committed suicide because he was depressed about his sick mother.

Mr Blamires said Bill intended to transport the body in the Fenay Bridge builder’s van and planned to catch a train back from Hull.

The court also heard about an earlier trip Bill had made to the Humber Bridge and a discussion he had had with a café owner there about bridge “jumpers” .

Mr Blamires also said Bill had come into his office one day asking him to make a phone call on his behalf, at a time when he was extremely busy. He said Bill later told him another member of staff had made the call for him and he himself had left an answering machine message after taking a dental plate out of his mouth and putting a marble in.

The jury also heard further evidence from Mrs Hay, 62, about the relationship which she started with Bill last October.

During cross-examination she accepted during their previous relationship, which had lasted about five years, he had been “generous to a fault” and good fun. She had wanted to marry Bill at that time, but he didn’t and she had ended the relationship.

Bill’s barrister, Alistair MacDonald QC, took Mrs Hay through text messages between them and she accepted their meetings had sparked off feelings from years before. She conceded the relationship became intimate, but she said within a few days she was telling him all the deceit was making her ill.

But the court heard the relationship resumed and Bill, of Upper Hagg Road, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth, even gave her a letter for her husband in which he revealed details of the affair and asked him to let him carry on seeing his wife.

“I am writing this not to tell you that Carol and I have been seeing each other since last October and she is going to move into a bungalow with me after Christmas. I am writing this to ask you to tell her that you won’t mind if she sees me occasionally.

“I love Carol and I think she loves me but she is sacrificing her happiness for the sake of her children and grandchildren. I hope you will be able to let her carry on seeing me occasionally as I am sure this will give her the best of both worlds. I want her to be happy and I am sure you do too. She deserves it don’t you think.”

Mrs Hay said Bill invited her to live with him, but she was saying anything to appease him. She acknowledged it was unfair leading Bill on but she was never going to leave her husband.

Mr MacDonald suggested the letter, which she shredded, referred simply to a friendship, but she said: “Not as a friendship. A lot more which was ridiculous.”

The trial continues.