Murdered woman’s family beg jailed ‘skull mask’ killer to say where her body is

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The family of a woman murdered by her “violent bully” boyfriend have urged the killer to reveal where her body is.

Alan Edwards was today jailed for life over the death of Susan Waring – whose remains have never been found.

He had claimed the victim had kissed him goodbye and walked out of his property in Darwen, Lancashire before disappearing in 2019.

But jurors unanimously convicted him of murder after being told he struck Ms Waring, 45, from close range while wearing a skull mask.

Edwards, 48, was sent down for a minimum of 27 years at Preston Crown Court today.

Mr Justice Goss said: “A mother has lost her daughter, siblings have lost their sister and her five children have lost their mother.

“To achieve closure they want to know where her body is. You made her life a misery.

“You are paranoid and possessive. You have no remorse.”

Speaking after the trial, Ms Waring’s family said their “one final request” was for him “to tell us where our beloved Susan is”

During the trial, prosecutors said Edwards was a “violent bully” who murdered the victim, 45, before disposing of her body.

He claimed he had last seen her on January 30.

The victim’s mother reported her missing several days later but, despite extensive police inquiries, her whereabouts are unknown.

The court heard that there is no evidence to say she is alive.

Edwards was also convicted of offences against four other women, including causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.

Those women gave evidence that they too were subjected to violent and controlling behaviour from Edwards at various times dating back to the 1990s.

Opening the case in January, prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC said Edwards was arrested in March 2019 and a subsequent thorough forensic examination of his address in Blackburn Road found blood on the walls and in the redecorated lounge.

More than 100 blood spots and traces of Miss Waring’s DNA were also found on a skull mask said to have been worn by the defendant as he struck his victim at close proximity.

Edwards began a relationship with Miss Waring, who had some learning difficulties, in late 2018 and from the outset it was “turbulent and violent”, said Mr Tehrani.

A neighbour told the jury she moved out of the adjoining flat to Edwards in fear of her own safety after she had heard near constant arguing and shouting between a man and a woman since living there from November 2018.

She said she never met either of them but recalled the man would often call the woman “stupid” and “a dumb baby”.

She added: “I heard her once say ‘Let me out, I want to get out’. He said ‘You can’t leave, what are you going to do about it?”‘

Another neighbour said he witnessed Edwards punch Ms Waring in the face as he walked past the defendant’s backyard a fortnight before she disappeared.

He said: “I said to to her ‘How come you are mixed up with such a f ** idiot?’ Her last words to me was ‘He always hits me’.”

The last confirmed public sighting of Miss Waring was when she was shopping with Edwards in Darwen on January 29 where her bank card was used to buy a stuffed meerkat toy.

In the days that followed, the defendant appealed via Facebook for Miss Waring to return or make contact but an examination of his mobile phone showed he was also visiting the hook-up website flirtymoms.com with “increasing regularity”.

Giving evidence, Edwards said he was “just browsing” and it was “something to pass the time, waiting for Susan”.

He said he did not know why she had disappeared and that he was still waiting for her to come back.

Edwards had denied ever being violent with Miss Waring.

Speaking outside the court after the sentencing, DCI Pauline Stables, of Lancashire Police, said: “Edwards is an extremely violent man who is clearly a danger to the women in his life.

“Prone to jealous outbursts, particularly when intoxicated through drink and/ or drugs, he has shown over a period of many years his propensity to lose his temper and violently attack people for no justifiable reason.

“My heart goes out to each and every one of Edwards’ victims.

“I can only imagine the horrors they have been subjected to at the hands of such a cruel and violent man.

“I am glad we have been able to get justice for Susan’s family in terms of putting her killer behind bars but their suffering continues whilst her body remains missing and they cannot lay her to rest.

“Edwards continues to deny Susan’s murder and as such, is not revealing where he disposed of her body.

“If anyone thinks they know anything about where Susan may be, please contact us with any information, no matter how insignificant you think it may be.”