THE secret lover of a Herefordshire undertaker accused of murder has told a jury of the time his wife turned up on her doorstep.

Alison Dearden said John Taylor’s wife, Alethea, once called at her Brimfield home to tell her of her love for John.

Sixty three-year-old Alethea vanished without trace last January from the home she shared with the 60-year-old undertaker in Orleton.

He was charged with her murder in June despite a body never being found.

Mrs Dearden was quizzed on the meeting between the women at Worcester Crown Court this morning.

“She had come and told me that she loved John,” she said.

“I asked her if he showed her that love. She said John can be difficult to live with.”

Asked about the morning she disappeared, Mrs Dearden said she offered to visit her lover to comfort him.

“I understood there was the possibility she (Alethea) would turn up but if she did I thought ‘I will deal with it’.”

She told the jury she believed there were rumours in the community about their affair.

“I can’t remember when the gossip started. I was aware of it after she went missing.”

The trial continues.