Tuesday 23 January 2018

Man executed his parents for €272k inheritance

Undated family handout photo of Robert and Patricia Seddon on their wedding day, as their son Stephen Seddon, 46, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court today of the murder of his parents over a ?230,000 inheritance. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 27, 2013. See PA story COURTS Parents. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated family handout photo of Robert and Patricia Seddon on their wedding day, as their son Stephen Seddon, 46, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court today of the murder of his parents over a ?230,000 inheritance. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 27, 2013. See PA story COURTS Parents. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Pat Hurst

A conman with an "insatiable thirst" for money is facing life behind bars for the cold-blooded "execution" of his parents to collect his £230,000 (€272k) inheritance.

Convicted fraudster Stephen Seddon, 46, shook his head in denial as the jury convicted him of the double murder and attempted murder of his elderly mother and father.

He had first tried to murder Robert Seddon, 68, and mother, Patricia, 65, by driving into a canal with them strapped in the back seats in a faked road accident.

Seddon then "played the hero" in the aftermath, after aborting the murder plan when bystanders went to their aid in the submerged car.

But after that plan failed, four months later he blasted the couple to death with a sawn-off shotgun at their suburban home in Sale, Greater Manchester.

His parents had made him sole beneficiary of their £230,000 estate in their will - and paid with their lives.

The father of three, from Benevente Street in Seaham, County Durham, was convicted of two counts of attempted murder on March 20 last year and two counts of murder on July 4, after a five-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

The victims' family shouted "Yes!" and burst into tears, hugging each other in the public gallery.

Seddon now faces four mandatory life sentences.

Mr Justice Hamblen will pass sentence tomorrow and decide how long Seddon should serve behind bars before he can apply for parole - or order he serve a "whole life" term and is never released.

Seddon had lived the high life in the past, posing in his Bentley Turbo, jetting around the world and staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on one trip.

The money came from a scam and he was jailed for fraud but his thirst for money remained unquenched.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, described him as the ultimate "ungrateful son" who had an "insatiable thirst for cash".

His parents had already gifted him £40,000 in cash and bought his home in Seaham, Co Durham, to keep a roof over his head.

They enjoyed a "modest but comfortable" life, with Mr Seddon getting an occupational pension from British Airways and Mrs Seddon her state pension.

The couple, married for 47 years, made a will in October 2009, naming each other as beneficiary if one of them died, with their estate worth £230,000.

But if they both died, their son Stephen "got the lot".

On March 20 last year Seddon made the first attempt to kill his parents by faking the car accident.

He hired a BMW and drove from his home in the North East to Manchester on the pretext of treating his parents to a surprise meal, a belated Mother's Day present.

With his parents and nephew Daniel in the hired car, Seddon drove along a stretch of road beside the Bridgewater Canal in Timperley, south Manchester, where the vehicle veered off the carriageway and into the water.

Daniel managed to free himself and reach safety while Seddon was seen on the roof of the car, trying to kick the windows in and apparently shouting for help.

Witnesses who ran to assist shouted for him to get off the car - as he was making it sink.

Seddon gave "many and varied" accounts of why the "accident" happened.

By July last year his father at least had come to realise the terrible truth about his son.

Robert Seddon confided in his GP that he believed the canal "accident" four months earlier had been a deliberate attempt to kill him - and he intended to confront his son.

The next day he was dead.

His wife, still recovering from the car crash, tried to fight Seddon when he produced the sawn-off shotgun.

She was found in the hallway, blasted in the temple from close range as she lay on the floor.

His father was shot in the neck as he got up from a sofa in the lounge.

Seddon planted the gun in his father's lap, taking his right hand and placing it on the weapon to give the impression of a murder suicide.

But police investigations showed it was not possible for Mr Seddon to have shot himself in the position in which he was found - his arms were not long enough and the recoil from the blast would not leave the weapon resting in his lap.

Police also then began to look again at the earlier car crash.

He denied the shooting and said it was "ridiculous" to claim he had tried to kill his own mother and father.

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