Walsall Man Guilty Of Rape & Murder Of Woman

The 20 year-old victim had learning difficulties

A 34 year-old Walsall man has been found guilty of the rape and murder of a 20 year-old woman with learning difficulties at a Black Country home.

After a three week trial at Leicester Crown Court, the jury found Steven Beards guilty of the charges relating to the offence that took place in Bloxwich in August last year.

Susan Whiting's body was found wrapped in a shower curtain and under a bed at Steven's wife's bungalow.

The jury are still deliberating on his wife Julie Beards, 36, of Walsall, who is accused of murder.

As part of the prosecution opening, Gareth Evans said the couple had been covertly recorded while they were being taken to court.

According to the prosecution, Steven Beards said to his wife:

"I need to stay out and look after the house. You'll get a lighter sentence all right, I'll come and visit you and I'll keep sending you money.

"Just say it was an accident and you lost your temper, you know what I mean. Can you do that for me bab?

"If you can take this rap for me ... would you be able to do that? If I go down, you are coming with me."

She replied: "Don't start, I haven't done anything wrong."

Beards said: "You are involved as I am, I'm gonna spend the rest of my life behind bars. I've done what you asked me to do."

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