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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Wife killer is sentenced to life
A man who bludgeoned his disabled wife to death in a frenzied attack before trying to cash in her insurance policy has been jailed for life.

Alan Wicks, who denied murder, took out 150,000 life insurance on his wife Pamela months before he murdered her at their home in Hayes in January 2006.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard Wicks had run up more than 250,000 in debts by showering his "lover" with gifts.

Wicks, 72, has been ordered to serve a minimum sentence of 11 years.

Judge Roger Chapple said: "To take another's life is a wicked thing to do in any circumstances. You will have to live with the knowledge of what you did for the rest of your life."

Lengthy affair

Despite the "severe and excessive force" behind an estimated 11 blows, the court heard his 70-year-old wife, who had a number of medical problems, did not die for more than an hour.

For months after, former general manager Wicks was regarded simply as a grief-stricken widower.

But as police inquiries continued his account was increasingly found to be littered with inconsistencies.

As well as discovering that just 10 days after his wife's death he tried to cash in the policy, which - unusually - covered murder, police also found he may have been having a lengthy affair with a married woman 20 years his junior.

Wicks himself revealed he had been having an affair with a mother-of-one for five years.

The pensioner, who had already had one affair, said he showered his lover with "ardent love-letters", daily phone calls and cash gifts of up to 3,000 a time.

He also financed a string of five-star holidays, funded her son's school fees, splashed out on new "his 'n' hers" MG Rovers, settled a legal bill for her and showered her with other treats.

But the woman denied ever having sex with him.

The hotel rooms were business meetings, the cars company purchases and most of the other cash handouts were commission in advance, she said.

Wicks has suffered a string of strokes and now faces the prospect of dying in prison.

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