Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Businessman denies killing wife

Maureen Hale
Maureen Hale vanished in June 1999

A businessman accused of murdering his wife 10 years ago was "cut really deep" after discovering that she had never loved him, a court has heard.

Martin Hale, 51, is accused of murdering wife Maureen, 42, after an argument at their home in Thames Ditton. Her body has never been found.

Mr Hale said he was "ashamed" following the "heated argument" which ensued after he learned of her feelings.

But he denied killing her, insisting that family was important to him.

Mr Hale told Kingston Crown Court that he tried to salvage his marriage after his wife of 16 years filed for a divorce.

'Affair suspected'

At the time of her disappearance in June 1999, Mr Hale told police that his wife had simply walked out on him.

The defendant, who ran his own grocery wholesale business, also denied responsibility for Mrs Hale's disappearance.

The court heard that Mr Hale planted a tape recording device in his wife's car as he suspected she was having an affair.

Mr Hale subsequently confronted his wife about her admission and a heated argument ensued.

'Very depressing'

When asked how he felt, following the episode, Mr Hale said he was "ashamed".

While living with his two aunts in Kingston, a period Mr Hale described as "very depressing", he wrote a note which, the prosecution alleges, detailed four ways to dispose of a body.

When asked to explain the piece of paper found in his briefcase, Mr Hale described them as "crazy things" written while he was in "complete turmoil".

The trial continues.



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