Graham Backhouse

Darrell Bacon
AKAMurder at the farm
Kill Total1
Kill PlaceHorton, Dorset
Kill Date9 April 1984
VictimColyn Bedale-Taylor-63
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 driving seat.

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.

18th April 1984, Backhouse requested that the 24 hour guard be removed following the fitting of a 'panic button in his house. The 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.
Backhouse was 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.

February 1985, Backhouse appeared at Bristol Crown Court charged with murder and attempted murder.
The forensic 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.

The 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 version.

Monday 19th February 1985, after nearly six hours deliberation the jury found Backhouse guilty of both charges. He was given two life sentences.

Graham Backhouse died in prison in 1994.

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