Calmly stocking up on beer, 'monster' son just hours after executing his loving parents
Stephen Seddon blasted parents Patrica and Robert to death with shotgun
Had attempted to kill them four months earlier to claim life insuranceDrove couple from Sale into canal with them strapped into back seatsJudge: 'Parents would've realised what a monster their son had become'
10:39 GMT, 28 March 2013
01:51 GMT, 29 March 2013
A fraudster who shot his parents after a botched attempt to drown them in a staged car crash will be ‘pursued to death by the Furies’, a judge said yesterday.
CCTV images were released showing Stephen Seddon coolly buying beer hours after the killings, having returned to his home 150 miles away as part of an attempt to fabricate an alibi.
Mr Justice Hamblen told the callous killer he was guilty of what had been regarded as a ‘terrible and unnatural crime’ throughout human history.
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On camera: CCTV footage of Stephen Seddon at the Home Bargains store in Seaham, County Durham, buying beer after killing his parents 150 miles away. He had hoped the CCTV which filmed him would give him an alibi
Family: Stephen Seddon (right), 46, had once before tried to murder his father Robert (centre), 68, and mother Patricia (left), 65, by driving into a canal with them strapped in the back seats
‘One can only imagine the horror of
your parents’ last moments in this life when they realised what a
monster their own son, whom they loved, had become,’ he added.
‘Mercifully, their deaths were swift.’
However he opted not to impose a
whole-life tariff on the ‘greedy’ 46-year-old, instead imposing a
minimum term of 40 years which he said represented ‘a very faint light’
at the end of the tunnel.
The killer, who had enjoyed a luxury
lifestyle before falling into debt, shouted: ‘I’m an innocent man!’ from
the dock, only to be told: ‘Keep quiet!’ by the judge.
Seddon, a father of three from
Seaham, County Durham, was convicted on Wednesday of murdering his
parents Robert, 68, and Patricia, 65, along with two counts of attempted
murder. He returned to Manchester Crown Court yesterday for sentence.
In the 1990s, Seddon set up a
consultancy firm which raked in 5million by falsely promising small
firms they could win European and British business grants.
He was jailed for fraud in 2000 and
after his release took a job as a car salesman, while relying for
financial assistance on his parents, who lived in Sale, Greater
By last year he was unemployed and living in a modest 89,000 house paid for by his father. He had just 5 in the bank.
Firearm: Seddon blasted the couple to death with this sawn-off shotgun at their home in Greater Manchester
When his hired BMW crashed into a
canal in March 2012, he was seen as a hero after apparently rescuing his
parents from drowning.
Mugshot: Stephen Seddon has been jailed for life and will serve at least 40 years before he can be paroled
But in reality it had been a callous
attempt to kill them because he was not prepared to wait for his
230,000 inheritance. The couple were strapped in the back seats, while
Seddon had a knife to cut his own seatbelt and a steering-wheel lock to
break the windows.
The plan went wrong when fire crews managed to rescue the retired couple.
Seddon’s father, a former BA worker,
became suspicious after noticing that his son had recorded a TV
programme about how to escape from a sinking car. In July he told his GP
he thought his son had tried to kill him.
The next day, Seddon drove to his parents’ home and blasted them both with a sawn-off shotgun.
He had also planned to murder his
disabled nephew, Daniel, whom they had looked after following their
daughter’s death – but the 17-year-old was away in respite care at the
time. Seddon arranged the scene to make it appear that his father had
killed his wife before taking his own life, then drove home.
Before leaving for Sale, he had
visited a supermarket on a retail park where he made sure he was caught
on CCTV. Six hours later, after the murders, he was filmed returning to
buy beer in an attempt to establish that he had been in Seaham all day.
But detectives soon saw through his
so-called alibi. Mr Justice Hamblen told him his greed had driven him to
the ‘cold-blooded killing of a quiet, unassuming couple in their own
He continued: ‘Despite the fact that
your parents had always been very generous in supporting you, you wanted
more and you wanted it now.’
Mr and Mrs Seddon’s family said in a
statement: ‘The shock of having had Bob and Patricia taken from us in
such horrific and tragic circumstances has left us feeling numb. They
were a kind, loving and selfless couple.’
Pulled out: Seddon had previously tried to murder his father, Robert, 68, and mother Patricia, 65, by driving into a canal with them strapped in the back seats of a car in a fake road accident
Seddon had lived the high life in the past, posing in his Bentley Turbo, jetting around the world and staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on one trip. The money came from a scam and he was jailed for fraud but his thirst for money remained unquenched.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, described him as the ultimate ‘ungrateful son’ who had an ‘insatiable thirst for cash’. His elderly and caring parents had already gifted him 40,000 in cash and bought his home in Seaham to keep a roof over his head.
'In Greek mythology, someone who killed a parent would be pursued until death by the Furies. Throughout time it has been recognised as a terrible and unnatural crime. You have killed not one parent but both of them. You have done so for gain'
Mr Justice Hamblen
They enjoyed a ‘modest but comfortable’ life, with Mr Seddon getting an occupational pension from British Airways and Mrs Seddon her state pension. The couple, married for 47 years, made a will in October 2009, naming each other as beneficiary if one of them died, with their estate worth 230,000. But if they both died, their son ‘got the lot’.
On March 20 last year Seddon made the first attempt to kill his parents by faking the car accident. He hired a BMW and drove from his home in the North East to Manchester on the pretext of treating his parents to a surprise meal, a belated Mother's Day present.
With his parents and nephew Daniel in the hired car, Seddon drove along a stretch of road beside a canal in Timperley, Greater Manchester, where the vehicle veered off the street and into the water.
Parents: Robert and Patricia Seddon pictured on their wedding day, as their son was jailed at court today
Daniel managed to free himself and reach safety while Seddon was seen on the roof of the car, trying to kick the windows in and apparently shouting for help.
HOW HE MURDERED HIS PARENTS
Patricia Seddon, still recovering from the car ‘accident’, tried to fight her son Stephen when he produced the sawn-off shotgun.
She was found in the hallway, blasted
in the temple from close range as she lay on the floor. His father Robert was
shot in the neck as he got up from a sofa in the lounge.
Police believe it was almost a triple murder.
Tragedy struck the Seddons in
September 2008 when their daughter, Lesley, died aged 40, leaving her
parents to look after her disabled son, Daniel, who lived with them at
the family property.
Chillingly police revealed that
Seddon had taken three shotgun cartridges with him – he did not realise
his nephew was in respite care that day and so not at home when the
killer came calling.
Seddon planted the gun in his
father's lap, taking his right hand and placing it on the weapon to give
the impression of a murder suicide.
But police investigations showed it
was not possible for Mr Seddon to have shot himself in the position in
which he was found.
His arms were not long enough and the recoil from
the blast would not leave the weapon resting in his lap.
Witnesses who ran to assist shouted for him to get off the car – as he was making it sink.
Mrs Seddon was pulled from the water after ‘huge heroism’ shown by one fireman and her life was saved after she was given emergency CPR at the scene.
Seddon gave ‘many and varied’ accounts of why the ‘accident’ happened. He told a police officer at the scene that he had a problem with his heart, clutched his chest and the car ended up in the water.
He then collapsed to the ground but tests in hospital showed nothing to indicate he had suffered a heart attack.
Seddon also suggested that the car had hit a brick, but no debris could be found and experts thought it would be ‘highly improbable’ for that to be the cause of the crash.
By July last year his father at least had come to realise the terrible truth about his son.
Robert Seddon confided in his GP that he believed the canal ‘accident’ four months earlier had been a deliberate attempt to kill him – and he intended to confront his son. The next day he was dead.
After the double shoooting, police also then began to look again at the earlier car ‘accident’ at the canal.
Seddon's reaction when police called with the ‘news’ of his parents' murders, was: ‘What am I going to do now I'm going to lose the house, the mortgage is in my dad's name.’
He denied the shooting and said it was ‘ridiculous’ to claim he had tried to kill his own mother and father and ‘sick’ to suggest he had intended to murder his nephew as well.
Outside court, Detective Superintendent Denise Worth, from Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘I actually find it difficult to put into words – someone who could kill and murder their own parents.
'The shock of having both Pat and Bob taken from us in such horrifying and tragic circumstances has left us feeling numb. Pat and Bob were a kind, loving and selfless couple'
Seddon family statement
‘It is hard to describe somebody
prepared to do that. He portrayed himself as a devoted and loving son
and told lie after lie after lie. He's just an evil, wicked man who did
it all for greed.’
Pc Bryn Jones, the family liaison officer, read out a statement on behalf of the Seddon family. It read: ‘The past nine months have been a very sad and emotional time for our family.
‘The shock of having both Pat and Bob taken from us in such horrifying and tragic circumstances has left us feeling numb.
‘Pat and Bob were a kind, loving and selfless couple who will be missed by their family, friends and especially their grandson Daniel, who they cared for with great love and affection.
‘We would like to now be left in peace to mourn the deaths of Pat and Bob and be allowed to remember them as the loving couple that they were.’
CCTV unravels parent murderer's LIES
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