Rotherham wife killer shook her husband’s hand, jury told

John Heald denies murder and three counts of rape.
John Heald denies murder and three counts of rape.
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The husband of a guesthouse landlady allegedly murdered by an on-the-run rapist from South Yorkshire has spoken of the moment he realised his ‘perfect’ wife was dead.

Terry Carter’s statement was read by the prosecution in the trial of John Heald, aged 53, from Rotherham, who is accused of murdering Bei Carter and raping a woman from Sheffield.

Mr Carter, who ran the Morayland Hotel, in Bridlington, with his wife, found her in a locked bedroom on her back, with her eyes open and her ‘bloody’ hands on her chest last July.

In a statement read to Hull Crown Court Mr Carter said he shouted her name but she didn’t respond.

He described the red dress and scarf she was wearing that day and how she had asked him that morning if she looked pretty.

He said: “I couldn’t think anything at first, if anything: ‘I’ve found you.’

“Her eyes were open I wondered if she had knocked her mouth in some way. It wasn’t a natural position...I knew she was dead at that point.”

Mr Carter said his wife - a ‘fantastic artist’ who had exhibited in her home country of China - had cooked Heald breakfast and he’d overheard some lighthearted banter between him and two other guests in the dining room.

“He appeared pleasant, nothing out of place,” he said, adding that Heald, who said he was builder, even shook his hand.

Mr Carter said he met Bei two decades earlier at a concert in Nottingham where she was on an educational exchange.

She was very easy to get on with and the ‘perfect partner’ and the couple had two daughters.

But Mr Carter said Bei could be too trusting and was ‘bad at reading English faces’.

At about 11pm on July 18 he began to wonder where his wife was.

He found her body in room number 5.

Heald, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, denies murder and three counts of rape.
The trial continues.