Crawley Down man accused of wife’s murder tells court they loved each other

Daniel Appleton, 38, accused of murdering an elderly woman and his wife has told Hove Crown Court he loved his wife “more than she will ever know” and she loved him.

Mr Appleton accepts responsibility for the death of Sandy Seagrave, 76, and his wife Amy, 31, in Hazel Way but denies murder.

Jurors were previously told how Mr Appleton beat Ms Seagrave to death with her own walking stick before using it to kill his wife.

During the trial, Lewis Power QC, defending, asked how he felt towards his wife. Mr Appleton replied saying: “She was a very special person.”

Adding, “I knew her from a young age, she grew up with my sister,” and described her as caring and loving, saying “she would do anything for anyone”.

The court heard the couple had met in 2007, moved in together in 2017 and married in 2018.

Asked if there had been discussions about children, Mr Appleton said: “We both wanted to be parents but we were enjoying our life early on.”

The defence has argued Mr Appleton was experiencing a mental health breakdown that was out of his control, while the prosecution has claimed he experienced a psychotic episode after taking illegal drugs.

The court heard how Mr Appleton part-owned a car repair company and had experienced work stress and high blood pressure before the incident on 22 December last year.

The court was told Mr Appleton carried out an internet search regarding magic mushrooms on 11 December. However, Mr Appleton said he had been looking into the death of US rapper Juice Wrld following a drugs seizure.

Asked if he was intending to take magic mushrooms, Mr Appleton said: “No.”

He told the court he had taken magic mushrooms in Amsterdam in his 20s but “did not enjoy it” and had not taken drugs since then.

Mr Power asked him if he accepted that, by his actions, he was responsible for the death of his wife and Ms Seagrave.

Mr Appleton replied: “Yes.”

Asked if had knowingly taken any drugs, prescription or illegal, Mr Appleton said he had not.

The trial continues.

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