‘My son tried to kill me in canal crash’

CANAL CRASH ... the BMW is recovered after Stephen Seddon drove the car into the water, in what his father believed weas an attempt to kill him.
CANAL CRASH ... the BMW is recovered after Stephen Seddon drove the car into the water, in what his father believed weas an attempt to kill him.

A FATHER claimed his son had tried to kill him, just 24 hours before he was blasted to death with a shotgun, a court heard.

Robert Seddon, 68, survived after his son Stephen allegedly drove a car into a canal with his parents aboard, in a fake road crash designed to kill them and benefit from £230,000 in their will.

The retired British Airways worker confided in his GP he now believed the canal “accident” four months earlier had been a deliberate attempt to kill him, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The next day, Stephen Seddon, described as an “ungrateful son” with an “insatiable thirst” for his father’s cash, is alleged to have gone to the family home in Sale, Greater Manchester, and shot both his parents at close range with a sawn-off shotgun, it is alleged.

Seddon, a 46-year-old father-of-three from Benevente Street, Seaham, denies two counts of murder on July 4 last year, and two counts of attempted murder over the canal incident on March 20.

The day before Mr Seddon and his wife Patricia, 65, were shot dead he had an appointment with his GP, the court heard.

Peter Wright, prosecuting, told the court: “He had previously expressed a view the canal incident was an accident.

By this time, he was expressing his concerns to his GP that his son had tried to kill himself and his wife when his son drove into the canal.”

The day after Mr Seddon’s GP appointment, his son left his wife, Nicola Stockton, and children at a caravan park in Fleetwood, Lancashire.

Seddon went back to Seaham in his VW Passat to sign on. While there, he swapped his car for a BMW borrowed from his brother-in-law, Robert Stockton Junior.

During the day, Seddon’s mobile made two telephone calls to a man named Brian Jopper, from Darlington, the court heard.

Jopper is a man with criminal convictions for serious offences, Mr Wright said, including involving guns.

The BMW was traced by police Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems on various CCTV cameras, travelling across country.

At 1.33pm, it was seen close to his parents’ home, and 26 minutes later on the same route back – after Seddon had shot his parents dead, it is claimed.

The retired couple were creatures of habit and neighbours noticed something was out of place the next day.

Their daughter, Lesley, died, aged 40, and they looked after her son, Daniel, 17, who had learning difficulties.

He had been with respite carers to give his grandparents a break, and was returned home on July 6, but could get no answer.

Police broke down the door to find both victims had been blasted at close range with a sawn-off shotgun.

Patricia Seddon, 65, had been shot in the left temple in the hallway. Mr Seddon was on the sofa with the gun and a blast injury to his neck.

Police found the shotgun in Mr Seddon’s lap with his right hand resting on the weapon.

But this could not have been a murder-suicide as the killer wanted police to believe, the jury heard.

“The ballistic evidence in this case is entirely inconsistent with that having taken place,” Mr Wright said.

“It’s simply not possible for Mr Seddon to have shot himself in the position in which he was in, in the location the wound was found and from a distance from one and a half metres.

“His arms were not long enough and the recoil would not leave the weapon resting in his lap.”

The weapon was found to have been stolen in a “professional burglary” in the Crook area of County Durham, on New Year’s Eve 2011, and sawn off.

* The hearing continues.