Backhouse attempted to
kill his wife with a bomb that was planted in their car. The
bomb was made of two sections of metal pipe, threaded
with a detonator. The powder of 12 shotgun shells had been
used as the explosive and it had been packed with around
4,000 lead pellets. It had been aimed upward through the
9th April 1984, Margaret Backhouse climbed into
the driver's seat of her Volvo. When she turned the ignition key, the car exploded. She
was left with severe injuries to her buttocks and legs.
The police suspected that the intended victim was husband
Graham. He told officers that he was the victim of a hate
campaign and that a sheep's head had been stuck on a fence
at the farm along with a note that read 'You next.'
Backhouse was given 24 hour police protection.
April 1984, Backhouse requested that the 24 hour guard be
removed following the fitting of a 'panic button in his
alarm system was connected to the local police station
and on 30th April it was activated.
When the police arrived, they found the body of Colyn
Bedale-Taylor, the 63 year old neighbour of
Backhouse, who had died from a shotgun blast to the chest.
In his hand was a Stanley knife.
discovered lying in the lounge drenched in blood
from knife wounds to the face and chest. His story was
that Bedale-Taylor had arrived and told him that he had
come to repair some furniture. When being told that
there was no furniture to repair he had accused
Backhouse of being responsible for the death of his son
in a car crash in 1982. He then told Backhouse that he
was responsible for planting the car bomb and attacked
Backhouse with the Stanley knife. Backhouse had run back
into the house and grabbed a gun. When Bedale-Taylor had
refused to back off, he had shot him.
Backhouse appeared at Bristol Crown Court
charged with murder and attempted murder.
investigation had shown that Backhouse's wounds had been
self-inflicted and that Bedale-Taylor could not have been
holding the knife when he died. His right palm was covered
with his own blood, which could only have happened after
he was shot and when he was not holding the knife.
prosecution showed that Backhouse had debts of £70,000.
Until March 1984 his wife had life insurance cover of
£50,000 but this was increased by a similar amount. It was
alleged that Backhouse had tried to kill his wife for the
insurance money and, when that failed, he
attacked Bedale-Taylor to shift police investigations
away from himself. The jury preferred the prosecution
Monday 19th February 1985, after nearly
six hours deliberation the jury found Backhouse guilty of
both charges. He was given two life sentences.
Backhouse died in prison in 1994.
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