Alleged killer's calls 'heard by wife'

A SUFFOLK woman who was blasted to death with a shotgun by her unfaithful husband built a secret hiding place so she could eavesdrop on his mobile phone calls to his mistress, a court heard yesterday .

A SUFFOLK woman who was blasted to death with a shotgun by her unfaithful husband built a secret hiding place so she could eavesdrop on his mobile phone calls to his mistress, a court heard yesterday .

Glenda Walker, 63, enlisted the help of her cleaner to construct a hide in the corner of a wood near her home, close to where a mobile phone signal could be picked up, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Yesterday, Zena Decker, who was employed to help Mrs Walker with housework, said she had known Mrs Walker and her husband John for eight years and described Mrs Walker as a friend.

She said Mrs Walker had become increasingly concerned about her husband's relationship with a woman he had met at ballroom dancing classes and had hired a private detective.

She said Mrs Walker had been "quite upset" that her husband was seeing someone else and had walked out of their home in Lodge Road, Great Bealings, on two occasions.

Mrs Decker said she had received a telephone call from Mrs Walker before the summer in 2002 and when she arrived at her house, she was shown a mobile phone.

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Mrs Decker explained that because of the Walker's cottage's isolated position, a mobile phone signal could only be obtained at the end of the lane.

"Because she couldn't walk to the corner as she would be seen, we constructed a hide in the corner of the wood so she could listen to his calls."

"I helped with the construction of the hiding place but I didn't go with her to listen," said Mrs Decker.

She said the last time she saw Mrs Walker was on November 6, 2002 – five days before her death.

She said it had been Mrs Walker's husband's birthday and she and Mrs Walker had gone to a road near to where the defendant's mistress lived. As they sat waiting, they saw Walker drive past three times and then pick up the woman in his car.

Mrs Decker tried to follow them but had lost sight of them.

Cross-examined by defence counsel, Diana Ellis, Mrs Decker said she was not aware that Mrs Walker had secretly been checking the mileage of her husband's car.

Walker, 66, has denied murdering his wife on November 11, 2002.

It has been alleged that he shot his wife of 40 years while she was sitting in the dining room eating her breakfast.

Shortly before the shooting the couple, who had two children, had allegedly been having a heated argument during which Walker claimed she had threatened to take him for all he had in their impending divorce and to publicly disgrace him by "dragging his name in the dirt."

Walker had taken a 12 bore, single barrel shotgun from a cabinet in the hall and had shot his wife once in the chest at close range.

Mrs Walker had put her arm up to defend herself but was blown to the floor and died on the spot.

Walker had later dialled 999 and admitted murdering his wife after being "overcome with anger."

The court has heard that Walker's defence is likely to be that he was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the shooting.

It has been alleged that Mrs Walker left her husband in 2000 after discovering he was having an affair.

Although the couple were reconciled, she had asked her husband for a divorce in 2002 after discovering the affair was continuing.

In the months leading up to Mrs Walker's death the couple had consulted solicitors and Mrs Walker had wanted the way their property was owned to be changed.

Yesterday, the couple's daughter Jane Robson gave evidence to the court.

She said she had been aware of a strange atmosphere between her parents and learned from her mother that her father was having an affair.

She said her mother had employed a private detective and had shown her photographs of her father leaving an allotment shed in Ipswich. She said she had been unhappy when her parents reconciled because they still appeared unhappy and strained. She suggested to her father that he might be happier with someone else but he had said that wasn't an option.

She said she had been in touch with her father since her mother's death and when talking about what had happened, he described it as, "our tragedy," "the tragedy" or "the familiy's tragedy."

Yesterday, the jury heard a tape recorded call made by Walker to the 999 service in which he said he had just murdered his wife.

The jury was also shown the gun used in the killing and was shown a video recording of the downstairs of the Walker's home tracing Walker's route from the dining room to the gun cabinet.

Details of the post mortem examination carried out on Mrs Walker by home office pathologist Michael Heath, in which he identified the cause of death as a single shotgun wound to the right side of the chest, were also given to the court.

Firearms expert, Malcolm Fletcher, said the muzzle of the shotgun was between one to two yards from Mrs Walker when it was fired at her.

Police surgeon, Dr Robert Collins, said that when he examined Walker after his arrest he found no evidence of mental illness.

Dc John Moos said that in police interviews Walker claimed his wife had been violent towards him on several occasions. On one occasion she had allegedly pushed him down the stairs and another time, had pushed him backwards over a wall.

He said he had started having an affair in 1997 and this had lasted three years.

He said that after employing a private detective, his wife had turned up at a building where he was meeting his mistress and had confronted him. "She was incandescent with rage," he said.

Walker told police that before taking early retirement he had been the technical manager of the agricultural division of an international chemical company.

He said shortly before his wife's death he had been "flabbergasted" to find his wife was taking legal action to change the way their properties – worth around £1million – were owned. "I began to feel I was getting into a fairly desperate situation," he said.

He said he and his wife had had "an extreme altercation shortly before he shot her.

He said: "I went to the gun cabinet and just immediately shot her. I seemed to be in a very strange sort of state and I didn't feel any shock at all.

"Suddenly shock overtook me and I dialled 999 for an ambulance and the police."

The trial continues.

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