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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
'Family from hell' denies murder
Rachel Hudson
Mrs Hudson's body was found close to Newstead Abbey
A woman was abused, beaten and humiliated and finally killed by her in-laws, a murder trial has been told.

Eight members of a Nottingham family are accused of murdering Rachel Hudson, 20, whose body was found in the grounds of Newstead Abbey in March 2004.

Tim Spencer QC described the defendants as the "family from hell" and said all played a part in Mrs Hudson's death.

The trial at Nottingham Crown Court is expected to last around six weeks. The eight deny murder.

All eight and a ninth unnamed person have pleaded not guilty to a second count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Mrs Hudson, 20, born Rachel Manger, came from Leicestershire.

She could take it no longer and we suggest in effect she gave up her will to live
Tim Spencer QC

Her husband Craig Hudson, 21, is one of several family members charged in connection with the death, along with her in-laws, Ronald Hudson, 49, and Trudy Hudson, 44.

Also accused are Ronald Hudson Jr, 23, Shane Hudson, 19, and Charlene Hudson, 18, along with Shane's girlfriend Elisabeth Hogg, 19, and Andrew Makings, 34.

Mr Spencer told the jury that the family made her into a virtual prisoner at the family home in Overdale Road in the Stockhill area of Nottingham.

He said she was not allowed to leave the house unaccompanied and never allowed out with her two children.

'Pain and injury'

He said: "They demeaned her, they insulted her, her will was sapped and her spirit crushed. She was kept as a virtual prisoner in the family home.

"She could take it no longer and we suggest in effect she gave up her will to live."

He said she was regularly beaten and assaulted on a daily basis by the defendants.

Mr Spencer added: "She suffered not only a complete loss of independence and dignity, but severe pain and injury.

"None of her many injuries received any adequate medical treatment and in the end they killed her.

"The grim reality for Rachel Hudson was that the one person to whom she might have expected to turn to for some help, her husband, effectively abandoned her and left her to her fate without hope of help."

The trial continues.

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