Lawyers attempting to prove that a woman helped cover the tracks of her brother who is accused of murdering a wealthy pensioner are ‘clutching at straws’, a jury has been told today.
Christopher Symons, 63, of Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, denies killing 76-year-old Patricia Goodband, who was found dumped down a disused brick shaft in the grounds of her home in Woodham, near Waddesdon, a month after she was last seen alive.
His sister, Kathleen Adams, 74, of Aylesbury Road, Princes Risborough, denies one count of perverting the course of justice.
The prosection allege Mrs Adams lied to police by stating that Mrs Goodband told her she would be staying up north over Christmas.
The jurors were told the ‘most powerful and compelling evidence’ in the case had come from Mrs Adams.
David Miller, making closing remarks on her behalf, said Mrs Adams would not lie on behalf of her much younger brother and Mr Symons himself knew as much.
He said: “But the bottom line is she did not need to lie.”
“She has no incentive to lie and there’s no evidence that she knew about the death of Patricia Goodband.
“The prosecution say that Christopher Symons involved people close to him.
“In my submission there is no evidence that Kathleen Adams, although Mr Symons’ sister, was close to him.
“It’s an unsupported theory.”
He said the contact between them last December and at the turn of the year was ‘the bare minimum’ at a time when Mrs Adams’ husband was ill and then died.
Addressing the jury, Mr Miller said: “This must be, without doubt, the worst year of her life.
“For a period of about two years her husband was terminally ill.
“Sadly he passed away at the beginning of this year.
“But it gets worse.
“Her contact with the police leads to her subsequent arrest and she becomes involved in a murder trial.
“But even when the prosecution have to accept she has told the truth - consistently in my submission - they carry on clutching at straws.”
Her story under oath remained the same as what she had told police officers earlier this year, said Mr Miller.
“Kathleen Adams’ account as recorded by the police has never changed - not one bit,” he said.
Mr Miller told jurors: “The prosecution ask you to convict Kathleen Adams on the last scrap of their theories - scraps they are clinging to, in my submission.”
Meanwhile, allegations that Mr Symons’ mistress helped him cover his tracks were dismissed as ‘speculation’.
Evidence of Jennifer Creasey’s involvement in an alleged plot by Mr Symons to kill affluent divorcee Patricia Goodband ‘amounts to nothing’, the jury was told.
David Hislop made his closing submissions to the jury on behalf of Ms Creasey, who denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The prosecution allege she wrote a fake Christmas card from ‘Sue’ to ‘Pat’ indicating that Mrs Goodband was due to arrive in Stockton-on-Tees on December 22, last year.
The 73-year-old, of Benson, Oxfordshire, is also accused of lying to police during an interview following Mrs Goodband’s disappearance.
Mr Hislop told the court Mr Symons had been able to manipulate and deceive Ms Creasey into signing the card for him, knowing she would not ask questions.
Mr Hislop said: “He did not need to involve Jennifer Creasey by telling her the real purpose [of the card].
“He didn’t need to and if you stand back and think about it for a moment he would be taking the hugest risk, would he not, in telling her, confessing to her?
“It would mean, would it not, that he would risk her going to the police or telling someone – and she could do that either immediately or do that at any time in the future.
“This would be a huge risk this devious man would take.
“At any time in his life she could pull the curtains down on his life.”
Mr Hislop said telephone records showing frequent and lengthy calls between the pair last December ‘amounts to nothing’.
He also told jurors much of the prosecution case against Ms Creasey was based on ‘speculation’ that Mr Symons would have told her about the alleged enterprise to kill Mrs Goodband for her money.
Ms Creasey is also accused of lying to police in an interview given in January this year about the link between the card, the names in it and Mr Symons.
Mr Hislop told the court: “She says she had not made the link.
“She says the card had been dictated to her and for that reason she had forgotten the names [in the card].”
The case was later adjourned until tomorrow when Judge Smith was due to begin her summing up to the jury.