Pensioner's appeal against murder of wife

A SUFFOLK pensioner's appeal against his conviction for murdering his wife is due to begin on July 28 at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Colin Adwent

A SUFFOLK pensioner's appeal against his conviction for murdering his wife is due to begin on July 28 at the Royal Courts of Justice.

John Walker was jailed for life after shooting Glenda at point-blank range at their home in Lodge Road, Great Bealings, near Woodbridge, on November 12, 2002.

During his Ipswich Crown Court trial in March 2004, he admitted killing the 63-year-old although he always denied murdering her.

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Walker's appeal is due to take place before three judges, Mr Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Griffith-Williams and Mr Justice Foskett.

A spokesman for the Court of Appeal said: “The case is listed for July 28. It will take place in court eight.”

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It is understood the first day of the hearing will consist of the judges reading the material involved in the appeal.

It will effectively get under way in open court on July 29.

Mr Walker, who is currently in the Category C Highpoint prison in Stradishall, Suffolk, is not expected to attend the hearing.

A close family member said: “We are hopeful the appeal will be upheld and the judges will respect the basis of the appeal.

“John is very hopeful.”

Walker, 71, has suffered from health problems while in prison, but relatives remain optimistic these will be resolved.

His appeal is likely to revolve around new evidence over his mental state at the time of the killing.

Walker was a former technical manager at BASF in Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh, before his retirement in 1995.

He was sentenced to a mandatory period of 14 years in jail before he could apply for parole.

At his trial the jury heard how Walker had been having an affair with a woman he had met at ballroom dancing classes.

His wife found out about the affair after hiring a private detective and had walked out on her husband twice before asking for a divorce.

Shortly before the shooting the couple had a heated argument during which Walker claimed his wife had threatened to take him for all he had and to publicly disgrace him over the affair.

The court was told Walker went to his gun cabinet, calmly took his 12 bore single barrelled shotgun, and shot his wife once in the chest at short range.

His defence team argued he should be found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter as he was clinically depressed at the time.

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