An extremely wealthy and eccentric architect who was said to have a libertarian view of sex, Simon Dale, 68, was found beaten to death in his large country house near Leintwardine on the Shropshire-Herefordshire border, on Friday, September 11th, 1987.
Four months later his ex-wife and two of their three children were charged with his murder. The motive, according to the prosecution, centred on possession of the country house and estate which, despite their divorce, had not been satisfactorily settled.
The ex-wife told Worcester Crown Court that when she was married to Dale he was addicted to aggressive and anal sex and would hit her when she refused to participate willingly. As their marriage failed, she said, he became violent to their children. The case against her was completely circumstantial and not enough to convince the jury, who found her not guilty.