A WEALTHY farmer serving life for murdering his wife over a bitter divorce led detectives to the spot where he dumped her yesterday as he finally confessed after years of lies.
Relatives of Kate Prout expressed their shock after killer Adrian Prout was taken under armed guard to the 276-acre farm they once shared.
Prout, 49, came clean to his fiancée Debbie Garlick after taking a lie detector test inside prison at his own request and failing on two questions: “Did you kill Kate Prout?” and “Do you know where her body is?”
As police revealed his dramatic admission, the greying convict was seen handcuffed to an officer at the farm in Redmarley, Gloucestershire.
His admission from behind bars comes four years after he murdered Mrs Prout, 55, and exactly 12 months since her family last pleaded with him to reveal the truth.
Prout, who was convicted by a Bristol Crown Court jury of murdering his wife after she vanished on Bonfire Night 2007, always denied any part in her disappearance.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said two officers received the “new and significant information” after visiting Prout in prison.
Friends had called for his release, claiming there had been a miscarriage of justice, while Prout maintained his innocence but Mr Atkinson said the killer had finally admitted the truth.
“Adrian Prout has admitted to those detectives that he murdered Kate Prout – something which he had always denied – and has now suggested that he disposed of her body on Redhill Farm in Redmarley,” Mr Atkinson said.
“A detailed search of that location will be conducted next week; however, this will be a painstaking process so is likely to take some time. The scene will be guarded throughout the weekend.”
Prout arrived at the farm and was driven into a wood, where he remained for about 25 minutes.
The detective added: “Our main priority now is to recover Mrs Prout’s body and enable her family to have some closure after the long ordeal they have been through.”
Prout, who owned a successful pipe-laying business and ran a commercial pheasant shoot, is said to have told his fiancée that he strangled his retired teacher wife after a row and buried her body on his £1.2m farm.
Yesterday Ms Garlick said she subsequently spoke to Gloucestershire Police.
Speaking about her prison visit, she said: “He just confessed.”
Asked what he said, she replied: “I am sorry, I did ...”
Ms Garlick, who led a campaign proclaiming Prout’s innocence, said: “Myself and my family are obviously devastated for the news we received.
“My heart goes out to Kate and her family. I hope this gives them a chance to grieve properly for their sister and have a proper burial and somewhere they can lay flowers.”
The businessman was jailed for life in February last year and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years before he could be considered for parole.
Prout, who has fathered a child with Ms Garlick after his wife’s disappearance, was thought to have strangled her and then used his expertise as a professional pipe-layer to bury her body.
Jurors heard that Mrs Prout had confronted her husband with an increased divorce demand the day before she went missing. He had offered her a settlement of £600,000, but, after discussion with accountants, she decided to demand £800,000.
Even after Prout was jailed, police continued to search Redhill Farm for his wife’s remains, but failed to locate her.
Prout’s confession came a year to the day after her relatives pleaded with him to reveal where he had hidden her body.
Her brother Richard Wakefield said in a statement that the family were being kept fully updated by police.
“We have always wanted Adrian to tell us where Kate’s body is, however, this news has obviously come as something of a shock to us,” he added.