Trial date set for former UKIP councillor Stephen Searle accused of murdering his wife in Stowmarket

The scene in The Brickfields, Stowmarket, where a woman died on Saturday night. Inset, former UKIP c

The scene in The Brickfields, Stowmarket, where a woman died on Saturday night. Inset, former UKIP county councillor Stephen Searle who has been charged with his wife's murder. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The trial of a former UKIP councillor from Stowmarket accused of murdering his wife will take place in June.

Suffolk police arrested 64-year-old Stephen Searle following the death of his wife Anne, 62, at their home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket at the weekend.

Officers were called at around 10.30pm on Saturday, December 30, to find a woman who was unresponsive.

Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service attended, but the woman was declared dead at the scene.

Today Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, told Ipswich Crown Court that a post-mortem examination had been carried out with sustained compression of the neck being given as the cause of death.

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However, he told the court further work needed to be carried out.

Searle was due to have attended this morning’s hearing, but it went ahead in his absence after his arrival was delayed by the weather.

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The matter was adjourned for a case management hearing in the week commencing May 21, and his trial – expected to last six to seven days – will start on June 25.

No application was made for bail.

Searle stood for the UKIP party in the Suffolk County Council elections, securing a seat for Stowmarket South in May 2013.

His election material said he was a former Royal Marine commando.

In May last year he stood again but lost to Conservative Mid Suffolk council leader Nick Gowrley.

He also ran as a UKIP candidate for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat in a bid to become an MP, but finished last of the five candidates, including Conservative MP Dan Poulter who retained the seat.

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