A ‘violent and controlling’ bully behind the murder of a mother-of-five whose remains have still not been recovered more than two years after she went missing has been jailed for a minimum of 27 years.
Alan Edwards, 48, claimed he last saw Susan Waring when she kissed him goodbye and walked out of his flat in Darwen, Lancashire, on January 30 2019.
But the prosecution said he was a ‘bully’ who killed the 45-year-old, disposed of her body and then attempted to cover his tracks.
Police have now released images of the Halloween mask the killer was believed to have used as he struck Ms Wareing at close range.
More than 100 blood spots and traces of Miss Waring’s DNA were discovered on the rubber Halloween skull mask.
After Edwards was arrested in March 2019, a forensic examination of his flat in Blackburn Road, Darwen, found blood in various locations and on items throughout the premises.
A mat with Ms Waring’s blood found on it was among the items recovered by detectives.
Alan Edwards (pictured left), 48, was a ‘violent bully’ who killed 45-year-old Susan Waring (right) and then disposed of her body, which remains missing. He has been jailed for a minimum of 27 years
More than 100 blood spots and traces of Miss Waring’s DNA were discovered on a rubber Halloween skull mask worn by the defendant
The prosecution argued that the blood splatters showed Edwards struck Ms Waring at close proximity
Miss Waring’s mother reported her missing but, despite extensive police inquiries, her whereabouts are unknown and there is no evidence to say she is alive, Preston Crown Court was told.
The last confirmed public sighting of Ms Waring (pictured) was on January 29 when she was shopping with Edwards in Darwen
Edwards was also convicted of offences against four other women, including causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.
Those women entered the witness box and said they too were subjected to violent and controlling behaviour from Edwards at various times dating back to the 1990s.
Jurors today took less than 90 minutes to reach a unanimous guilty verdict of murder.
Opening the case in January, prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC, told Preston Crown Court Edwards began a relationship with Ms Waring, who had some learning difficulties, in late 2018.
The prosecution outline how from the outset their relationship was ‘turbulent and violent’.
The last confirmed public sighting of Ms Waring was on January 29 when she was shopping with Edwards in Darwen where her bank card was used to buy a stuffed meerkat toy.
In the days that followed, the defendant appealed via Facebook for Ms Waring to return or make contact but an examination of his mobile phone showed he was also visiting the hook-up website flirtymoms.com with ‘increasing regularity’.
Giving evidence, Edwards said he was ‘just browsing’ and it was ‘something to pass the time, waiting for Susan’.
Pictures of a mat found at the home of Alan Edwards with the blood of Susan Waring found on it was also used as evidence
The body of Ms Waring has not been recovered more than two years since she went missing. Pictured (from left to right): Lynne Waring (sister), Linda Waring (mum), Peter Waring (brother), Karen O’Reilly (sister), Susan Waring and Patrick O’Reilly (Karen’s husband)
Mr Justice Goss adjourned sentencing until next Wednesday, when he will fix the minimum term Edwards must serve of a life sentence (pictured: Preston Crown Court)
When arrested and interviewed Edwards said he was not responsible for her death and had never assaulted her.
He said he did not know why she had disappeared and that he was still waiting for her to come back.
Over the course of the case Mr Tehrani told the jury, which unanimously found him guilty of murder: ‘Alan Edwards would wish you to believe that at the end of January 2019, Susan Waring walked out of his home and simply disappeared.
‘The prosecution say Susan Waring is dead because Alan Edwards killed her and disposed of her body somewhere or in such a manner to ensure that it may never be found.’