James Anthony Sootheran Bio- James Anthony Sootheran Wiki
James Anthony Sootheran, had been held captive in a “foul, unhygienic cell” and was found starved to death, Reading Crown Court was told.
A horrified doctor found Mr Sootheran’s body next to a plate of chocolate bars, a doughnut and a bag of McDonald’s that looked “fresher than him,” the jury was told.
Lynda and Wayne Rickard, who deny murder, had moved into Mr Sootheran’s farmhouse South Newington, Oxfordsnhire, in 2006.
— OXFORDSHIRE (@DailyOXFORD) January 24, 2020
James Anthony Sootheran Age
James Anthony Sootheran was 59-years-old.
The pair planned to defraud his estate and his 92-year-old mother Joy, the court heard. Lynda Rickard, 62, had previously admitted forging Joy’s will where she was set to gain half of the £1.5million estate.
She conceded she had forged the will of the pensioner’s only son Mr Sootheran – where she would inherit a third of his £3.5million fortune when he died.
Just 18 months after she died with dementia, her only son’s malnourished body was discovered, having been under Lynda Rickard’s care, the jury heard.
Dr Hilary Edwards made the grim discovery at High Havens Farm after Lynda Rickard told the GP she had not seen Mr Sootheran since the previous morning.
“They both entered and there they found Anthony, severely emaciated and dead. He was lying, naked from the waist down, on a mattress on the floor with a stained duvet over him.”
The doctor said the room looked ‘cleaner than normal’ and that were new clothes on the chair and food, the prosecuting counsel added.
Police body-worn camera footage of the gruesome scene was played to the jury yesterday.
They saw a skeleton-like man lying on a crumpled mattress on the floor – with a plate of chocolate bars, toast and an apple placed beside his head and a doughnut in a bag by his feet.
Mr Saxby said: “One police officer has a vague memory of there being a bucket in the room used as a toilet. The blanket was wet, the room smelled of urine and it was freezing cold.
Accelerating his death
“And the food, as you have seen it in the footage, looked fresh – fresher than Anthony, as one of the officers put it. Indeed, it seemed almost as if it had been placed there after his death.”
He added: “We say that the Rickards wanted him dead, that his death suited their purposes.
“Will, death, inheritance. They say that they did not realise how serious the situation was and that he wanted to live like that.
“Had he been referred for medical treatment when his life was first seriously in danger, in other words, a week or so before he died, Anthony would have survived.
“Lynda Rickard – forged will in mind – was perfectly happy for him to die. We say, not only did she neglect him, with her husband’s support and assistance but she also played an active part in accelerating his death.”
The Rickards denied murdering their live-in landlord, but claimed it was the consequence of his own self-neglect.