Son who murdered parents gets 40 years

An “evil” killer was today sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for the cold-blooded murders of his mother and father - but went to jail protesting his innocence.

Conman Stephen Seddon, 46, was branded a “monster” by a judge after shooting his elderly and doting parents to death with a sawn-off shotgun to get their money.

But Seddon, who told “lie after lie after lie” to escape justice, shook his head and shouted “I’m an innocent man” before he was ordered to “keep quiet” by the judge, who jailed him for life with a minimum 40 years before parole.

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Seddon, a convicted fraudster with an “insatiable thirst” for money, was named by his parents Robert Seddon, 68, and Patricia, 65, as sole beneficiary of their £230,000 estate in their will.

The father-of-three first tried to drown them by staging a road accident and driving a car into a canal with them strapped in the back, Manchester Crown Court heard.

He then “played the hero” boasting of his supposed rescue attempts after aborting the murder plan when bystanders went to their aid in the submerged car.

After that plan failed, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, he went to their quiet suburban home in Sale, Greater Manchester, on 4 July.

His mother, still recovering from the canal crash, tried to fight him off in the hallway but went to the ground where her son put the gun against her left temple and pulled the trigger.

His father, in the lounge, was shot from close range in the neck as he either lay or was about to get up from a sofa.

He then placed the gun on his father’s lap in a bid to make it look like a murder-suicide.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Hamblen told the defendant: “One can only imagine the horror of your parents’ last moments in this life, when they realised what a monster their son, whom they loved, had become.

“Mercifully their deaths were swift. The reason for the attempted murders and the murders was greed. You needed money.

“In Greek mythology, someone who killed a parent would be pursued until death by the Furies. Throughout time it has been recognised as a terrible and unnatural crime.

“You have done so by the barbaric act of shooting them at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun.”

Loved ones of the murder victims hissed “Yes!” and burst into tears after Seddon was convicted by a jury yesterday following a five-week trial.

In a statement read outside court, the family said: “The past nine months have been a very sad and emotional time for our family.

“The shock of having both Pat and Bob taken from us in such horrifying and tragic circumstances has left us feeling numb.

“Pat and Bob were a kind, loving and selfless couple who will be missed by their family, friends, and especially their grandson Daniel, who they cared for with great love and affection.”

Seddon had lived the high life in the past, posing in his Bentley Turbo, jetting around the world and staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on one trip.

The money came from a scam and he was jailed for fraud, but his thirst for money remained unquenched.

His parents had already gifted him £40,000 in cash and bought his home in Seaham, Co Durham, to keep a roof over his head.

The couple, married for 47 years, made a will in October 2009, naming each other as beneficiary if one of them died, with their estate worth £230,000.

But if they both died, their son Stephen got all the money.

On 20 March last year Seddon made the first attempt to kill his parents by faking the car accident, taking his parents out for a surprise meal as a belated Mother’s Day present.

With his parents and nephew Daniel in the car, Seddon veered off the road and into Bridgewater Canal in Timperley, south Manchester.

Witnesses who ran to assist shouted for him to get off the car - as he was making it sink.

By July last year his father at least had come to realise the terrible truth about his son.

Robert Seddon confided in his GP that he believed the canal “accident” had been a deliberate attempt to kill him - and he intended to confront his son.

The next day he was dead.

Police believe it was almost a triple murder.

Seddon had taken three shotgun cartridges with him - he did not realise his nephew Daniel was in respite care that day and so not at home when the killer came calling.

Detective Superintendent Denise Worth, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “I actually find it difficult to put into words - someone who could kill and murder their own parents.

“It is hard to describe somebody prepared to do that. He portrayed himself as a devoted and loving son and told lie after lie after lie. He’s just an evil, wicked man who did it all for greed.”