Lover not told about wife killing

 Harry Jarvis Harry Jarvis, who is serving life for murdering his wife, said he acted alone A man convicted of murdering his wife has told a trial he did not tell the woman accused of helping him to cover up the death, that she was dead.


Harry Jarvis, 61, was giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh in the trial of Rita Heyster.


She denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice following the death in 2009 of Carol Jarvis.


Ms Heyster was in a relationship with Jarvis and stayed at the family home in Bathgate, often living in the shed.


Jarvis, who was convicted of his wife’s death at a trial earlier this year, said he had never told Ms Heyster that his wife was dead or that he had hidden her body in the cellar.


Ms Heyster, who was cleared of a murder last week, has lodged a special defence blaming Jarvis for any wrongdoing.


Heyster remains on trial accused of helping Jarvis cover up the death of his wife.


On Monday, Ms Heyster’s legal team called Grimsby-born Jarvis as a defence witness.


He told the trial that when his wife died, in the early hours of 12 September 2009, he was alone in the house in Balbardie Crescent, Bathgate.

False errand

A woman juror left the courtroom for some minutes as Jarvis gave a graphic account of his wife’s final moments, dying in their bed after attempts to administer drugs to stop a fit were unsuccessful.


Jarvis said he never told Ms Heyster that his wife had died and invented an elaborate story to account for her absence from the house, pretending she was going for respite care.


He also said he sent Ms Heyster to a shop on a false errand, to keep her out of the house while he completed hiding his wife’s body.


Jarvis told solicitor advocate Ray McMenamin, defending Ms Heyster, that during that fatal weekend, he never told her Mrs Jarvis was dead.

carol jarvis Carol Jarvis’ body was discovered in the family home in West Lothian

Jarvis, at the start of his evidence, denied murdering his wife.


But, the jury heard, he had been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years before he can apply for parole.


Jarvis said he had also given up an attempt to appeal against his conviction.


Ms Heyster’s trial has heard of apparent love notes scrawled to her by Jarvis and of claims they were planning to set up a new life together.


But Jarvis insisted in court that he and “Mrs Heyster”, as he called her, were just friends.


Their first contact in May 2008 was through the internet and, later, he stayed at her Peebles home because he was working in the area as an electronics engineer and moonlighting as a delivery man for an Indian take-away.

Medical problems

The following year Ms Heyster moved to the Bathgate area, living in bed and breakfast accommodation and, for about a month before his wife’s death, staying “odd nights” in the garden shed.


Mr Jarvis said former nurse Ms Heyster was going to be his wife’s carer so that he could go back to work.


But they did not want their four grown-up children to know about this until plans were finalised.


He said that was why Ms Heyster kept out of sight in the shed, or on occasion, in the cellar where Mrs Jarvis’ body was found on 16 September 2009.


The trial has heard that Londoner Mrs Jarvis suffered from a range of medical problems throughout her adult life and was sometimes virtually bed-ridden.


The trial continues.

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