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Life for minister who murdered wife.

Summary: A spiritualist minister has been jailed for life for murdering his TV make-up artist wife.

A spiritualist minister has been jailed for life for murdering his TV make-up artist wife.

David Chenery-Wickens was told he would serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

The 52-year-old killed his wife Diane Chenery-Wickens in January last year after she began to unravel his web of sexual and financial lies and then dumped her body in woodland.

On the day Mrs Chenery-Wickens, 48, was murdered, she had found out her husband had been cheating on her and had also dialled a gay chatline, Lewes Crown Court in Sussex heard.

Jurors convicted serial adulterer Chenery-Wickens, of Duddleswell, near Uckfield, East Sussex, of murder following a trial lasting more than a month.

The court heard that Chenery-Wickens was a serial adulterer who had a number of affairs behind his wife's back during their 11-year marriage.

Five women came forward to give evidence at the trial, mostly anonymously, and he was questioned about sexual liaisons with others.

Chenery-Wickens was also described by a fellow spiritualist minister as a compulsive liar who preyed on vulnerable women using charm and deceit.

Marlene Thompson, minister at Jarvis Brook Spiritualist Centre in Jarvis Brook, East Sussex, said Chenery-Wickens had affairs with several women within the spiritual circle.

Mother-of-two Mrs Thompson, who has been married for 42 years, said he also made advances towards her after she sent him an innocent text message.

She said: "I just sent him a text message at Christmas 2004 telling him thank you for all he had done and he phoned me back saying he should be my lover.

"I thought he was joking at first and laughed it off but he sent me a text message saying that he meant it and that he wanted us to start an affair. I was flattered but nothing came of it."

Chenery-Wickens' best man said the spiritualist minister destroyed so many lives and added: "If I could hang him myself, I'd do it."

Karel van Bommel, said Chenery-Wickens was lying, manipulating and violent but he acted as best man for the sake of his friend Diane.

Mrs Chenery-Wickens had worked on BBC's Dead Ringers, The League Of Gentlemen and Casualty.

She won an Emmy in 2000 for Arabian Nights and received a Bafta nomination for Dead Ringers three years later.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Mar 3, 2009
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