The jury at Bristol Crown Court took 14 hours and 17 minutes to find Adrian Prout guilty of murder by a majority of ten to one. He showed no emotion as he was told by the judge that he will receive a mandatory life sentence when he returned to court for sentencing.
Kate Prout, a retired teacher ten years her husband’s senior, vanished in 2007 in the middle of an acrimonious divorce battle. The couple had continued to live in the same house in Redmarley, despite threats from Mr Prout that he would kill her and knew people who could “get rid of bodies”, until shortly before her disappearance.
In fact, Mr Prout had the means and the opportunity. Among his business interests was a pipe-laying company that used heavy digging equipment. He also owned more than 276 acres of land where he ran pheasant shoots. Police were convinced from the start that Mrs Prout was dead and had not just run away from her bullying husband.
Her credit cards, mobile phone and passport were all left in the house and she had given no hint that she was planning to leave. The trigger that led to her killing was a demand that her husband increase her divorce settlement to £800,000, a sum that meant that he would have to sell his farm, which was valued at £1.2 million, and start again from scratch.
The prosecution contended that Prout killed his wife with his bare hands. Having disposed of her body he then waited five days to report her disappearance to the police.
Throughout the inquiry he showed little or no interest in her whereabouts and stayed cool even when officers returned time and again to search his land. The search lasted five weeks and was the largest in Gloucestershire Police’s history. Lakes were drained and ground-penetrating radar and dogs used to search for a body, but of Mrs Prout there was no sign.
Here are some related video's.....Video: Police interview with Adrian ProutOther video footage.Video: News Special - Police search farm for missing womanVideo: Kate Prout murder case: One year onVideo: Brother's appeal for missing Kate