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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Son of murder accused flying back to UK

A son whose elderly father has been charged with murdering his wife at their remote Cumbrian home will today return from the United States.

ptmerylparry
Emergency call: Meryl Parry was found dead in September

A Carlisle Crown Court judge heard that the only relatives of 81-year-old John Michael Parry were abroad, but due to fly back to Britain.

Parry has been charged with murdering his 80-year-old wife Meryl on Tuesday morning at their isolated home in the Eden Valley hamlet of Dale, a few miles from Armathwaite.

The tragedy has reverberated through the close-knit community, leaving neighbours shocked and saddened.

Eden councillor Mary Robinson, who has lived in nearby Ainstable since 1978, said: “This is a low crime area and you don’t expect things like this. Everybody here thinks the same thing. It’s a complete and utter human tragedy. You can sense the shock that this has happened here, in such a close-knit community.”

Other locals said they saw little of the couple, whose home was a short drive away from the village.

Parry, who has spent the last two nights in Durham Prison, was yesterday led into the dock of Carlisle Crown Court for a hearing before Judge Paul Batty QC.

Looking frail and wearing a navy blue pullover and beige trousers, the bespectacled and balding pensioner sat quietly as barristers discussed the murder allegation he faces.

Addressing the court, Judge Batty told prosecuting counsel Tim Evans: “This is an extremely sensitive case, Mr Evans, and I am pleased that the Crown Prosecution Service have seen fit to instruct you at this early stage.

“If ever there was a case which requires experienced counsel instructed at an early stage, this is it.”

Defence counsel Roger Baldwin told the court: “So far as my client is concerned, he is currently in custody and there will undoubtedly be a bail application, but it will not be made today.

“My client’s family are all abroad.”

The alarm over the incident was first raised shortly after 6am on Tuesday in a phone call to Cumbria Police.

Emergency crews found Mrs Parry’s body in the house, while her husband was taken from the scene to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary for treatment – though what his medical problem was has not been revealed.

He was charged with murder the following day.

Parry is set to be brought back to the crown court in the next couple weeks to enter his plea to the allegation of murder.

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