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Earl's Valet Guilty Of Murdering Wife; Protests Innocence.

THE former valet to the Earl of Grantham has been convicted by a court of law of murdering his estranged wife.

John Bates, a trusted and close confidant of Lord Grantham, 51, was in engulfed in an acrimonious separation from his unfortunate spouse Vera when she passed away after apparently ingesting rat poison.

Bates was in the unseemly process of divorcing Vera, whom many regarded as a surly and wretched woman, on the grounds of her alleged adultery.

It is highly inconvenient for Bates that he is known to have visited his estranged wife shortly before her death; and the Crown's case that he was responsible for her murder was found to be proven.

Bates was subsequently sentenced to death, which was later reduced to life imprisonment.

He continues to vigorously protest his innocence, with the support of several members of the Crawley Family.

After the death of his wife, Bates hastily re-married, with fellow servant Anna Bates (nee Smith), who is employed as head housemaid at Downton.

A friend of the Crawley Family said: "Anna believes her husband was unjustly accused and she is determined to help Mr Bates prove that he is not responsible for this foul deed.

"The situation is clear; there has been a miscarriage of justice."

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Poisoner: John Bates
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 14, 2012
Words:216
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