Daily Mail

I had six lovers, says spirituali­st accused of murdering wife

- By Neil Sears

A SPIRITUALI­ST accused of murdering his wife told a court yesterday he had affairs with six women after she told him he ‘ wasn’t a lot of cop’ in bed.

David Chenery-Wickens, 52, said his marriage to wife Diane, an award-winning BBC make-up artist, effectivel­y ended after she had an affair and insulted his prowess between the sheets.

He denied, however, having affairs with four other women – and pleaded not guilty to murdering his 48-year-old wife in January last year.

He said this was because he had an ability to speak to the spirits of the dead which guaranteed he could never take a human life because he knew what was waiting ‘ on the other side’.

Lewes Crown Court, East Sussex, has heard he reported his wife missing to police in London last year, saying they had travelled to the capital together but that she then vanished.

Four months later her body was found in undergrowt­h close to the Lavender Line steam railway in East Sussex where he was a volunteer. He was later charged with her murder.

After police told him CCTV footage showed he had travelled to London alone, he changed his story, saying his wife had decided to go away and had made him swear not to tell anyone.

The prosecutio­n say he killed her two days before his London trip, when she found he had been calling one of his alleged lovers and a gay dating line. He had also run up huge debts without her knowledge, it is claimed.

Chenery-Wickens insisted he was perfectly open with his wife about his lovers and debts. He said he had become a spirituali­st and began communicat­ing with the spirits of the dead when he was 24.

After working as a lorry driver he had become involved in reading tarot cards, performing exorcisms, and giving ‘ healing’ and acting as a medium for clients at £20 to £40 a time.

He married Diane Wickens, his second wife, in 1997 after she had approached him for a spirituali­st analysis of her life.

But he claimed she repeatedly had sex with another man while working on a TV series in 1999, and their marriage had gone downhill. She later confessed to having more sex out- side their relationsh­ip, he said. He added that although they tried to continue their own love life, ‘ it was deemed that I wasn’t a lot of cop’.

While living at their four-bedroom cottage in the Ashdown forest at Duddleswel­l, Uckfield, East Sussex, he confessed to a series of ‘ intimate’ relationsh­ips with other women.

He was ordained by the United Spirituali­sts, he said, and the organisati­on ‘ knew I was going through a spiritual and eventual divorce – and providing I didn’t bring the movement or myself to public attention there would be no problem. I was not in a true, loving marriage.’

Told he had been accused of having affairs with at least ten women, most of whom he met through spirituali­sm, he said: ‘ I hold my hands up to the ones I have been with – but the ones I haven’t, I deny.’

He said he did have an affair with a Susan Roberts; with Sally Lyon, of Uckfield, after she left her pub landlord husband in 2004; and with a woman whose identity is protected by the court.

He said he also had a onenight stand with an unnamed woman in Manchester in 2004, and had sex with a woman from Tunbridge Wells who was not named in court.

He admitted to a long-running affair with married Kerry Lippett, 40, of Crowboroug­h in East Sussex, his ‘principal girlfriend’, saying: ‘ I adored the ground she walked on.’

But he denied affairs with a Jean Kingham and three other women whose names are protected by court order.

He told his wife about his affairs, he claimed, and she tolerated them, but was jealous.

Chenery-Wickens admitted his wife was angered by huge bills he ran up calling gay chatlines, but said he started calling them only to help a client worried about her husband using the numbers.

He denied knowing the owner of a pair of size 16 pink knickers found in a bin at his home. He said his wife was size 8.

The case continues.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Killed: Make-up artist Diane Chenery-Wickens
Killed: Make-up artist Diane Chenery-Wickens
 ??  ?? Affairs: Chenery-Wickens
Affairs: Chenery-Wickens
 ??  ?? ‘Girlfriend’: Kerry Lippett
‘Girlfriend’: Kerry Lippett

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom