Mr Wayne Dunford, 57, who insists his wife, Mrs Leslie Dunford, 37, is innocent of the murder charge of their three-year-old daughter, Lucy, has been left distraught after discovering his wife did commit the murder for which he has so long defended her.
She was jailed for seven years in 2012 over Lucy’s 2004 death. But before she was due to face trial on Friday for seven-month old baby boy, Harley’s murder at home in Camber, East Sussex, in 2003, she pleaded guilty.
With the new confession, her case is up for a fresh sentence. Lucy had died on the day Wayne had returned to work after 19 months of unemployment. Dunford said she had been nervous about being left to look after her alone but denied being depressed.
But the child had bruising and a cut above an eyebrow, which could have been caused by hitting a hard surface, the jury was told.
For more than a decade, Dunford has been living with the belief that seven-month-old Harley had succumbed to cot death and that three-year-old Lucy’s death in 2004 was the result of an accident.
All through the trial, Wayne stood by his wife, defending her as well as convincing others on her innocence. He believed she was a ”victim of miscarriage of justice”.
After his wife was sent to jail in 2012, Mr Dunford said: ‘I don’t accept the verdict. I have been with Lesley for 13 years and she is not the sort of person who could keep something like that to herself for so long.’Mrs Dunford who had maintained innocence of the crime of murdering three-year-old Lucy in 2004, also pleaded guilty to her son’s murder in Lewes Crown Court last week.
She was arrested in February 2004 and interviewed by police then and again in May. Her case was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided there was not enough evidence to charge Dunford with the murder of Lucy.
An inquest was made for Lucy’s case in 2009, East Sussex coroner Alan Craze demanded the case was revisited.
During a Family Court hearing into Lucy’s death, the inquest shed more information which had been given by medical experts in 2005. This information had not been passed on to the CPS. Mrs Dunford was then rearrested and charged in July 2011.
Following Lucy’s case, a review was made for baby Haley. Her conviction the following year led to a new police investigation into Harley’s death which ended with the baby’s mother fessing up and being charged with his murder.At a hearing last week, Mrs Dunford’s lawyer told Lewes Crown Court that she intended to plead guilty to killing her son. She will be sentenced on March 18.
The couple lived in Camber, East Sussex at the time their children died, but later moved to Exeter after the double tragedy.
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