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Former Goodmayes pensioner, 87, admits shooting wife of 50 years in care home, a court hears

PUBLISHED: 15:34 05 July 2016 | UPDATED: 15:34 05 July 2016

Rita King who was shot at De La Mer House in Naze Park Road, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. Her husband Ronald King, 87, is on trial charged with her murder. Photo: PA/De La Mer House

Rita King who was shot at De La Mer House in Naze Park Road, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. Her husband Ronald King, 87, is on trial charged with her murder. Photo: PA/De La Mer House

PA/Press Association Images

A man, who lived with his wife in Goodmayes for more than 20 years, admitted shooting her in her Essex care home, a court has heard.

A police car outside De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, the care home where Rita King was shot dead. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireA police car outside De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, the care home where Rita King was shot dead. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Ronald King, 87, denies murdering Rita King at the De La Mer House home in Naze Park Road, Walton-on-the-Naze, on the morning of December 28 last year.

He pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court in March.

His trial began this morning, with prosecutor Andrew Jackson telling the jury of five men and seven women that Mr King had admitted shooting his wife of 50 years during a police interview.

The court heard Mrs King had been in the home for around two years at the time of her death, moving there from the couple’s bungalow in the coastal town after being diagnosed with dementia.

The couple had previously lived in Kilmartin Road, Goodmayes, for more than 20 years, and were active members of the Goodmayes Bowls Club.

Mr Jackson told the court: “On the morning of December 28 Ronald King shot dead his 81-year-old wife Rita.

“This is a sad and tragic case. They had been devoted to each other, and it is inevitable your emotions, your sympathies will be aroused.

“However you have made a solemn oath to try this case according to the evidence, coolly and dispassionately.”

Patrick Upwood, defending, sat in the dock with King, who is hard of hearing while the charges were read and the jury sworn in.

Members of Mr King’s family sat at the back of the court during the hearing.

Judge Charles Gratwicke QC warned the jury the trial is expected to last seven days.

King has admitted possessing a prohibited firearm, a revolver, and banned ammunition – eight bullets, made in 1943 at a Ministry of Supply factory in Wales, the court heard.

The trial continues today.


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