The press called it The Wrinkly Murder, and with good reason. The jealous lover was 67. His rival was 80. And the femme fatale was 52.
Edward Martin, 67, had been two-timing the flame we will call Ann Smith, and both she and his other woman had realised what he was up to and had cooled towards him. Ann began to encourage the attentions of 80-year-old Warwick Batchelor, a wealthy widower, but at the same time she continued to see Martin.
They all lived near each other in Sussex, and it wasnt long before Martin realised he had a rival. His jealousy festered, and it erupted when he learned that Ann was to go with Batchelor to France for a weekend break.
On AUGUST 7th, 1994, the day prior to the couples planned departure, Ann dined with Batchelor at his luxury flat in Hassocks. The phone rang several times during the evening, but each time Batchelor answered it the receiver was put down. The caller was Martin, waiting in the shadows of the block of flats, armed with a two-foot-six sharpened screwdriver and checking on his rival.
At the end of the evening Batchelor drove Ann home. On his return Martin was waiting for him by the garage block, where he stabbed his rival 20 times as he got out of his car.
Two hours later detectives were examining the scene when they became curious about another car parked nearby and went to have a look at it. It was Martins. He had left it there while he went to dispose of his bloodstained clothes, screwdriver and gloves. He was spotted concealing them in some bushes, and was arrested.
Admitting the killing, he told the police: I felt that she was my girl because I met her before he did. I was going to tell him to keep his hands off her while they were in France. He was much too old for her. I was so jealous and I just wanted to say to him, Please leave her alone.
He claimed he had acted in self-defence. At his trial he said, I knew he was bigger than me, so I took the screwdriver with me in case he started on me. There was a struggle in which Batchelor grabbed the screwdriver, Martin testified. I looked up to see him coming at me with the screwdriver. It was the most horrible face I had ever seen. It had murder written all over it…
The last thing I remember is that I was on his back somehow and stabbing him in the shoulder. He was shouting, Help! Help! Im being attacked! Then he said, Im dead! Im dead! I thought he was going to kill me.
The jury didnt believe Edward Martins story. They convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.