Husband accused of murdering wife gets engaged to new love just weeks ahead of trial

Kate Prout

Husband accused of murdering wife gets engaged to new love just weeks ahead of trial
Daily Mail
24 June 2009

A husband accused of killing his wife has proposed to his lover as he waits to go on trial for murder.

Adrian Prout, 46, popped the question to divorcee and mother-of-two Debbie Garlick while on bail.

The couple are currently living together at his £1.2 million farm in the village of Redmarley D'Abitot, Gloucestershire, where they held an engagement party earlier this month.

The announcement comes just weeks after he was charged with the murder of his wife Kate, 55.

One of Prout's neighbours said she complained about the noise of their engagement party.

Villagers said they attempted to speak with Mrs Garlick about the party, but were told: 'This is my home and I can do what I want. You can't do anything about it.'

A source at Gloucestershire Police added: 'Officers are aware that Mr Prout had quite a big engagement party in the village ten days ago.'

Two days later, the couple spent the evening laughing and joking together in their local pub.

Kate vanished from the farm on Bonfire Night 2007, shortly before their seventh wedding anniversary.

The retired schoolteacher disappeared without taking any clothes or personal possessions such as a passport.

Prout waited five days before he reported her missing.

Despite extensive searches of the property - including the use of sniffer dogs which took part in the hunt for Madeleine McCann - her body has still not been found.

Mrs Garlick, 44, who has a son Austin, 19, and 16-year-old daughter, Jade, lived three miles from the Prouts in the nearby village of Corse.

A neighbour said that she had noticed Mrs Garlick leaving her house in March to live with Prout at Redmarley.

Up to 100 police using mechanical diggers carried out searches at Prout's farm following Kate's disappearance.

They emptied a grain store and scoured ponds and a reservoir in vain. A sniffer dog which took part in the hunt for missing tot Madeleine McCann was also called in without success.

Prout, who runs a pipe laying and civil engineering business, was arrested and questioned twice on suspicion of murder.

At the beginning of this year, detectives said he was no longer on bail and he appeared to be in the clear.

But in March, he was arrested again in a swoop on his home and charged with his wife's murder - despite no body having been found.

He is currently on bail and due to stand trial for murder at Bristol Crown Court at a date to be fixed.

A plea and case management hearing for his trial has been set for July 27. A Facebook page has been created by Mrs Garlick's daughter in a bid to clear Prout's name and prove his innocence.

Mrs Garlick is the second woman to have been linked with Prout since Kate's disappearance.

Just two months after Kate went missing, a 48-year-old woman called Diane Bellamy was arrested with Prout on suspicion of murder.

She was detained at an address in Stroud, Glos,. Two men aged 43 and 45 were also arrested.

At the time Mrs Bellamy, who had split from her farmer husband Tim, was reported to be Prout's girlfriend - an allegation she denied.

She and the two men were released on police bail, which has since been lifted.

Kate's closest family - her brother Richard Wakefield and sister-in-law Linda - refused to comment about the engagement.

Prout was also unavailable for comment.

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