PENSIONER David Venables has been jailed for life for the murder of his wife, Brenda. 

The sentencing brings justice for the Venables family for a murder the 89-year-old got away for nearly 40 years. 

During his sentencing, it was revealed Venables, of Elgar Drive, Kempsey, near Worcester, made one last attempt to escape proper justice by attempting to mislead psychiatrists he wasn't fit to plead.

Ludlow Advertiser: VENABLES: David Venables outside Worcester Crown Court. Picture: PAVENABLES: David Venables outside Worcester Crown Court. Picture: PA

Michael Burrows QC said the crown had found Venables had not made "maximum effort" when being assessed.

"It reflects an absence of remorse, his manipulative character," Mr Burrows said.

Mr Burrows listed the aggravating factors of the case including concealing her body in a septic tank at Quaking House farm where the couple had lived when Brenda went missing in 1982, and that Brenda had been entitled to feel safe in her own home but had been attacked by her husband.

Ludlow Advertiser: REMEMBERED: Brenda VenablesREMEMBERED: Brenda Venables

Sentencing Venables, who showed no emotion throughout the hearing, the judge, Mrs Justice Amanda Tipples, said Venables had pushed the story his wife had killed herself.

"No one had suspected that the real risk to Brenda was you, the smartly dressed gentleman farmer," the judge said. 

The judge jailed Venables for life with a minimum of 18 years.

Earlier there had been tears in the public gallery as the family's victim personal statement was read out to the court.

The statement, written by Brenda's niece Jocelyn Sheppy, said: "Brenda was kind and caring and has been greatly missed by all her family and many friends.

"When Brenda's remains were found the horrendous circumstances in which she was found have been difficult for her whole family to come to terms with. 

"The thought Brenda lay there for over 37 years undiscovered whilst the septic tank continued to be used is simply unthinkable.

"Many members of her family have died never knowing what happened to her."

The trial, brought to a conclusion by the jury's majority verdict last Friday, (July 15), had heard Venables had even tried to blame notorious serial killer Fred West for his wife’s murder.

The sentencing at Worcester Crown Court on today (July 20) had been delayed in the morning as Venables appeared on videolink but was unable to hear proceedings due to technical issues.

The judge ordered for him to be brought to court from HMP Hewell, with the hearing getting under way around three hours later.