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‘Possessive, violent bully’ jailed for life for murder of woman who has been missing for two years

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Alan Edwards was convicted of the murder of Susan Waring, who had been missing for two years. (PA)
Alan Edwards was convicted of the murder of Susan Waring, who has been missing for two years. (PA)

A “violent bully” who murdered a woman who has been missing for more than two years has been jailed for life with a minimum of 27 years.

Alan Edwards, 48, claimed he last saw Susan Waring as she kissed him goodbye and walked out of his flat in Darwen, Lancashire, on 30 January, 2019.

But after the prosecution said he killed the 45-year-old and then disposed of her body, he was convicted of murder last week.

Jailing Edwards, Mr Justice Goss told him: "You are paranoid and possessive. You have no remorse.”

Miss Waring’s mother reported her missing several days after Edwards left her flat, but despite extensive police inquiries her whereabouts are unknown and there is no evidence to say she is alive, Preston Crown Court was previously told.

Susan Waring's body has never been found. (PA)
Susan Waring's body has never been found. (PA)

Edwards was also convicted of offences against four other women, including causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.

Those women gave evidence that they too were subjected to violent and controlling behaviour from Edwards at various times dating back to the 1990s.

Opening the case in January, prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC said Edwards was arrested in March 2019 and a subsequent thorough forensic examination of his address in Blackburn Road, Darwen, found blood on the walls and in the redecorated lounge.

More than 100 blood spots and traces of Miss Waring’s DNA were also found on a skull mask said to have been worn by the defendant as he struck his victim at close proximity.

During his sentencing on Wednesday morning, the judge told Edwards that the murder was "a manifestation of his uncontrollable temper", adding: “A mother has lost her daughter, siblings have lost their sister and her five children have lost their mother.

"To achieve closure they want to know where her body is. You made her life a misery."

Edwards began a relationship with Miss Waring, who had some learning difficulties, in late 2018 and from the outset it was “turbulent and violent”, said Tehrani.

Alan Edwards has denied ever being violent with Susan Waring. (PA)
Alan Edwards has denied ever being violent with Susan Waring. (PA)

The last confirmed public sighting of Miss Waring was while shopping with Edwards in Darwen on 29 January, when her bank card was used to buy a stuffed meerkat toy.

In the days that followed, the defendant appealed via Facebook for Miss Waring to return or make contact, but an examination of his mobile phone showed he was also visiting the hook-up website flirtymoms.com with “increasing regularity”.

Giving evidence, Edwards said he was “just browsing” and it was “something to pass the time, waiting for Susan”.

He said he did not know why she had disappeared and that he was still waiting for her to come back.

Alan Edwards was jailed for life at Preston Crown Court. (Wikipedia)
Alan Edwards was jailed for life at Preston Crown Court. (Wikipedia)

Edwards denied ever being violent with Miss Waring.

DCI Pauline Stables, from Lancashire’s Force Major Investigation Team, described Edwards as “an extremely violent man who is clearly a danger to the women in his life”.

Speaking after Edwards’s sentence, Stables said: “Prone to jealous outbursts, particularly when intoxicated through drink and/or drugs, he has shown over a period of many years his propensity to lose his temper and violently attack people for no justifiable reason.

“My heart goes out to each and every one of Edwards’s victims. I can only imagine the horrors they have been subjected to at the hands of such a cruel and violent man.”

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