Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Missing Gloucestershire wife was 'volatile'

Kate Prout
The body of Kate Prout has never been found

A Gloucestershire woman allegedly murdered by her husband had a "volatile personality" which was reflected in their relationship, a court has heard.

Adrian Prout, 47, is charged with the murder of his wife Kate, who has been missing since 5 November, 2007. He denies the charge.

The body of Mrs Prout, 55, of Redmarley, has never been found.

The prosecutor said Mrs Prout left diary accounts of rows during which her husband threatened to kill her.

Paul Dunkels told Bristol Crown Court that when Mrs Prout, a former teacher, went missing the couple's marriage was over and they were set to divorce.

They were living in Redhill Farm at the time which was a 276-acre property, complete with woodland, farm buildings and swimming pool, which was valued at £820,000.

The court heard that Mrs Prout wanted £800,000 as her share of the matrimonial assets.

Mr Prout owned both a successful pipe-laying business and a commercial shoot, the court heard.

Heated arguments

Mr Dunkels said: "Kate Prout felt he gave too much time to his work and too little attention to her. She was undoubtedly a demanding woman."

He said Mr Prout moved his daughter from a previous relationship into the couple's home in 2006, which did not sit well with Mrs Prout.

Mr Dunkels said there was "friction" between Mrs Prout and her stepdaughter and arguments over her presence broke out between the married couple.

Adrian Prout
Adrian Prout lived with his wife at Redmarley, near Gloucester

"By late 2006, early 2007, Kate Prout was complaining the defendant had been threatening and violent towards her," he said.

The court heard various extracts from Mrs Prout's diary, which told of heated arguments, including one over Mr Prout's daughter on Boxing Day 2006.

It said: "All hell broke loose at home. Words with the little madam. Got sloshed. Argued and he said it was all over and wants us to divorce."

Mr Dunkels also read out an e-mail Mrs Prout had sent to her cousin which said: "He pushed me outside and tried to throw me in it [the pool]. I was screaming my head off, but it was evening and neighbours were inside their houses."

He went on: "No charges or caution as no marks on me. He thinks it's all going his way. I just want to be away from him."

Mr Dunkels said Mrs Prout's cousin was alarmed as she recalled that earlier in their relationship Mrs Prout had said her husband had made comments about "knowing people who could get rid of bodies".

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