Stephen Seddon: Son convicted of ‘execution’ with sawn-off shotgun of parents for £ 230,000 inheritance
The son who failed his attempt to drown his parents – then shot them dead: bankrupt businessman convicted of ‘execution’ with sawn off shotgun for £ 230,000 inheritance
- Stephen Seddon shot Robert, 68, and Patricia, 65, with a sawed-off shotgun
- Four months earlier, he had tried to kill the couple by staging a fake traffic accident
- He drove into a canal with them strapped in the back seats of a car
- Convicted of two counts of attempted murder and two counts of murder
A bankrupt businessman was convicted yesterday of killing his parents four months after trying to drown them in a staged car crash.
Fraudster Stephen Seddon knocked them out with a sawed-off shotgun after learning he was the sole heir to their £ 230,000 estate.
The luxury car salesman, who was in massive debt, had also planned to kill his disabled nephew, but luckily he was not at home.
Guilty: Stephen Seddon, 46, left, shot his parents in their home with that shotgun, right He was found guilty of killing them and faces life imprisonment
Sentenced: A man with an ‘insatiable thirst’ for money was facing life in prison today for the ‘cold-blooded execution’ of his parents for his £ 230,000 inheritance. Patricia and Bob are pictured with Stephen
Manchester Crown Court has learned that the 46-year-old first attempted to kill Robert, 68, and Patricia, 65, by driving a rental BMW through a canal with them strapped to their backs.
Seddon pushed his way out of the car and was later hailed as a hero for ‘saving’ his parents and nephew.
Police yesterday admitted that “in hindsight” they should have noticed that the canal incident had been staged and “treated it differently”.
Seddon had previously enjoyed a luxury lifestyle, owning a Porsche 911 Carrera, an Audi convertible, and a chauffeured Bentley.
It was claimed his company had an annual turnover of £ 5million and at one point had £ 2million in his bank account. But his lifestyle “fell apart” when he was convicted of fraud in 2000 and became financially dependent on his parents.
Seddon, who rubbed shoulders with top businessmen and footballers, killed his ‘quiet and modest’ parents despite giving him £ 40,000 and buying him a house.
The court heard Bob Seddon, 68, on suspicion that an earlier car crash in a canal was an attempt by his son to kill him and his wife Patricia, 65.
Tragic: The couple’s bodies were discovered after a neighbor sounded the alarm and police broke into their Manchester home
Shocking: Seddon had previously attempted to murder his father, Robert, 68, and mother Patricia, 65, while driving in a canal with them strapped in the back seats in a fake traffic accident
Health concerns: Patricia Seddon remained unconscious after the crash and was rushed to a nearby hospital
But the ballistic reports were “entirely inconsistent” with this version of events. It was also revealed that Seddon’s nephew, Daniel, 17, narrowly escaped death.
Police discovered the shotgun was loaded and it was alleged that Seddon was expecting three people at the house. Fortunately, Daniel was in respite care at the time.
Happier times: Robert and Patricia Seddon are pictured on their wedding day
The day before the murders, Robert Seddon had warned his GP that his son was trying to kill him.
He had grown suspicious when he noticed that his son had watched a show about how to escape from a sinking car on his Sky Plus box.
After the murders, the police launched an internal investigation into the canal accident.
Chief Detective Inspector Denise Worth said yesterday: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and yes, looking back it could have been handled differently.
“But at the time he came out as a hero and it was treated as a tragic accident, but it wasn’t until after the murders that we came back and looked at it in detail that we realized the things just didn’t fit. ”
Seddon’s first attempted murder took place on Mother’s Day last year at the Bridgewater Canal in Timperley, Cheshire.
Daniel managed to break free and Seddon was seen on the roof of the car breaking down the windows and screaming for help.
He told police he had suffered a heart attack, but tests at the hospital indicated he did not. He also suggested the car hit a brick, but no debris was found.
Four months later, the father of three from Seaham, County Durham, acquired a stolen shotgun from a contact in Darlington before going to his parents’ house.
Police later discovered that the two victims had been shot at point blank range.
Seddon, who denied the murder and the attempted murder, will be sentenced today.
Salvage: A rescue team is pictured retrieving a black BMW car Seddon drove through a canal in Timperley, Greater Manchester, in an attempt to kill his parents
Greed drove Seddon to murder his parents
Stephen Seddon became one of the few people whose greed led him to the ultimate crime – not just murder but the murder of his own parents.
For Seddon, the money was his “whole world” and when he got it he spent it quickly.
Even the life of his mother and father was just an obstacle to overcome to get their hands on cash.
Close: Pat and Bob Seddon, pictured, had been married for 47 years
Detective Superintendent Denise Worth of Greater Manchester Police said: “This job is probably a very, very difficult job for anyone to contemplate.
“That anyone can kill their parents, plan it and do it for money is indescribable. I can’t imagine there are a lot of people in the world who could do it.
Seddon leached out his parents’ modest wealth for years before murdering them.
In one of the last acts of his life, his father paid his son’s £ 60 speeding fine.
His parents had previously purchased Seddon’s house in Seaham, Co Durham to keep a roof over his family.
Seddon was supposed to pay his father’s rent – but it wasn’t clear if the money had ever changed hands.
Seddon grew up in Timperley, a suburb of Manchester. Her father worked for British Airways and the family was “comfortable”.
He started committing crimes when he was only 13, appearing in youth courts for burglary, manipulation and theft.
Grim: Elderly couple’s bodies discovered after police called to their home in Sale
Further convictions followed in adulthood for taking vehicles without consent and he was jailed at Bolton Crown Court in 1989 for a range of offenses including obtaining property through deception, theft and kidnapping without payment. .
He met his wife Nicola, an ex-model from the Sunderland area, at a lap dancing bar in Manchester 17 years ago and they moved to the North East.
His crimes continued and he developed a taste for the high life.
He worked mainly in sales and in the late 90s he started a company, European Business Support, offering grants to small businesses.
The company charged companies £ 295 on the pledge it would help secure EU funding.
His business achieved an annual turnover of £ 5million and he had £ 2million in his bank account at one point.
Ms Worth said: “Seddon has had a pretty lavish life in some ways.
“He’s always had a good amount of money. He always had fairly well paying jobs, so he didn’t have any financial difficulties.
“When he had his own business he had a really, really lavish lifestyle.”
He bought a Bentley Turbo, hired a driver, and enjoyed flying around the world, staying in first class – again, it was all a show.
There were no European subsidies – he just kept the money.
In 2000, Seddon pleaded guilty at Teeside Crown Court to fraudulent trade and was jailed for a year.
In the weeks leading up to his parents’ murder, he was in desperate need of money and applied for high interest, instant access loans from various financial companies.
On the day he committed the murder he only had £ 5.45 in his bank account.