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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 16:28 GMT
Daughter cries for missing mother
A daughter wept in court as she gave evidence against her father who is accused of murdering her mother nearly 19 years ago.

Russell Causley, 60, of Portlock Place, Maidenhead, Berkshire, denies killing his wife in the summer of 1985.

Mr Causley is accused of murdering Veronica Packman after moving his lover - whose surname he later took - into the marital home in Dorset.

His daughter, Samantha Gillingham, last saw her mother in June 1985.

We were all horrible to her
Samantha Gillingham

Mrs Gillingham said that about a year before that, Patricia Causley had moved into the family home in Ipswich Road, Bournemouth, where her father was operating an insurance business for which she worked.

Giving evidence at Exeter Crown Court, Mrs Gillingham said that in early 1985 her mother was "very sad, very upset" and drinking heavily.

The 35-year-old property manager said: "On the day I last saw her I went to London with my father. He said we were meeting Patricia Causley for lunch."

She recalled that when she and her father returned to Ipswich Road "there was a note and my mother's wedding ring on the note on the work top.

"The note said words to the effect she had had enough and she was going."

Problem 'gone'

She said she had twice been under hypnosis in an attempt to recall the events of that day.

Asked whether her father said anything, she said: "I do not recall him saying anything specific.

"But it was almost considered she had been a problem at that time and as if the problem had gone now."

Mrs Gillingham later went to Bournemouth police station to report her mother missing.

'Series of deceits'

Mrs Gillingham said she left home in August, 1985, after her father told her during a meal he did not want her there any more.

In a telephone conversation with her father in September, 1987, she told him she was trying to find her mother.

"He said if I did he would never speak to me again," she said.

In August 1996 she went with the police to a storage facility in Sussex where she found many of her mother's items had been placed.

The prosecution has claimed Mr Causley set up a series of deceits to demonstrate his wife was still alive.

The trial continues.

Missing wife spoke of 'new life'
23 Mar 04  |  Berkshire
Missing wife 'killed by husband'
22 Mar 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset

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