A 73-year-old woman besotted with a man accused of murdering millionairess Patricia Goodband told a jury he was ‘good company and fun’.
However, OAP Jennifer Creasey added that her married lover ‘didn’t always walk the straight and narrow’.
Ms Creasey, who is accused along with Christopher Symons and his sister Kathleen Adams of being involved in the disappearance and death of Ms Goodband, was giving evidence to a jury on her own behalf.
Mr Symons, 63, of Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, is accused alone of murdering Ms Goodband, whose body was found more than a month after she disappeared, buried in a deep shaft in her own back garden in Woodham, near Waddesdon.
She had been repeatedly battered around the head before her body was dumped and covered with rubbish.
Divorcee Ms Creasey admitted that she thought her married boyfriend Mr Symons did not always do things by the book as she defended herself on two counts of perverting the course of justice.
She told the jury at Reading Crown Court that she was introduced to Mr Symons at a barbecue by a relative 31 years ago.
She said he initially told her he was also divorced and only confessed that he was married with children after she had become ‘fond’ of him.
Mrs Creasey said: “He (Mr Symons) was good company and fun, but he was controlling as well.
“I always thought that he didn’t walk the straight and narrow.”
The defendant, who walks with the aid of crutches, said that she was attracted to Mr Symons because he wanted her.
Over the years the pair would see each other sporadically and Ms Creasey admitted she was ‘besotted’ with him.
She recalled 25 years ago being introduced by Mr Symons to a woman he said was his sister, ‘Pat’.
About four years ago Ms Creasey told the jury that her boyfriend told her ‘Pat’ had died of cancer.
The jury had previously heard that Ms Goodband was last seen alive on December 22 last year.
Her body was found after a ‘painstaking investigation’ looking around the garden of her home on January 21 this year.
The prosecution claim that Mr Symons, who stood to inherit Ms Goodband’s fortune, used his sister Ms Adams and his lover, Ms Creasey, in a bid to cover up the crime.
Ms Creasey admitted writing a Christmas card to ‘Pat’ from ‘Sue’ which suggested Ms Goodband has headed north to visit a friend.
“I just did what he (Mr Symons) asked me to do and forgot about it, she said.
David Hislop, defending, asked her: “At the time of writing the card what did you believe the purpose was?”
“I had no idea what the purpose was,” she replied.
“Did you give it any thought at the time? asked her barrister.
“Not at the time. I think later, the next day, I thought that it was a bit strange.”
When asked what she would have done if Mr Symons had gone to her and asked her to write the card to throw the police off the scent after killing a woman, she replied: “I wouldn’t have done it.
“I would have rung the police and told them.
“I wouldn’t condone a crime like that.”
Ms Creasey also told police that she had not seen Mr Symons since before Christmas but yesterday she told the jury this was a mistake.
“I was very stressed over Christmas and New Year,” she said.
“I was really worried. I had two police constables in my house. It was frightening. I didn’t know what I had done.”
Joanna Glynn QC, prosecuting, said: “It was frightening because you knew you had done something seriously wrong?”
Ms Creasey, of Hale Road, Benson, replied: “No I didn’t.”
Kathleen Adams, 74, of Aylesbury Road, Princes Risborough, had earlier told the jury she was telling the truth when she told detectives Patricia Goodband had told her she was going to stay with her daughter over Christmas.
She denied conspirying with her brother to cover up Ms Goodband’s disappearence.
When asked what she would have done if her brother had asked to lie for him, she replied: “He would have known the answer, I wouldn’t.”
Mrs Adams told the jury that out of the blue on December 19 last year she received a telephone call from Ms Goodband, who had looked after her mother in the 1980s.
Mrs Adam’s said she was ‘a bit surprised’ to hear from Ms Goodband as the only contact the two women had for many years was a yearly Christmas card.
“She said she was ringing because she wasn’t sending a Christmas card this year because she was going away.
“I thought that would probably be the end of the conversation but she went on then reminiscing back 30 years ago.”
Mrs Adams told the jury that at the time her husband Bill, who died in January this year, was ill and she ‘just wanted to get on’.
When asked about how she felt about the phone call now the defendant said: “I wish she had never made it.
“Its caused all this trouble.
“I told the truth and it ended up like this.”
Mr Symons denies murder.
Mrs Adams denies one count of perverting the course of justice by lying to police officers.
Ms Creasey also denies perverting the course of justice by writing the “Sue” Christmas card, and lying to police officers.
The trial before Judge Zoe Smith, continues.