Businessman admits murder over divorce
December 20, 2011
Four years after her disappearance, a wealthy businessman has admitted to police that he murdered and buried his wife to avoid the divorce settlement she demanded.
Married in 2000, Adrian and Kate Prout lived on Prout’s 276-acre estate in Redmarley, Gloucestershire. Prout had a successful pipe laying business and also ran popular pheasant shooting parties on his land. Mrs. Prout was a retired primary school teacher and there were no children of the marriage.
After only seven years of marriage Mrs. Prout requested a divorce and demanded a settlement of £800,000, considerably more than Prout offered, and a sum that would have necessitated the sale of his £1.3m property.
After Mrs. Prout disappeared, Prout told family and friends that she had left him, claiming that she had also left behind her handbag, phone and passport. Although no body was found, Prout was convicted of murder in January 2011 at Bristol Crown Court and sentenced to at least 18 years.
Continuing to maintain his innocence, Prout persuaded his new fiancée, Debbie Garlick – mother of his baby daughter – that he was wrongly accused, whereupon she launched a miscarriage of justice campaign.
Certain that he would be exonerated, Ms. Garlick persuaded Prout to take a lie detector test, which was administered by a psychiatrist at HMP Garth near Preston. Prout failed the test on three questions regarding Mrs. Prout’s disappearance, death and burial site.
Excavators are now digging for Mrs. Prout’s body on the estate after Prout finally confessed to Ms. Garlick and police.