Man accused of ‘stabbing, bludgeoning and strangling’ his disability campaigner wife to death

The estranged husband of a disability rights campaigner stabbed, bludgeoned and strangled his wife before leaving her and their daughter for dead to get control of the family fortune worth more than £1.3m – a court has been told.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 3:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:02 pm

Raymond Hoadley, described as a frugal man who was obsessed with money, launched the attack on his wife – a mother of two young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation – after drawing up a hand-written agreement splitting their cash and property, a court heard.

Jackie Hoadley, 58, was found in the bedroom with seven stab wounds to the face and neck at the family home in Broad Oak Close, Eastbourne, on July 5, last year.

Her carotid artery and jugular vein had been severed, the court heard.

Raymond Hoadley arrives at court

Evidence showed she had tried to fight off her attacker as she was strangled and beaten, Caroline Carberry QC told a jury at Lewes Crown Court in Hove.

Mr Hoadley, 62, left his wife and their severely disabled daughter Eleanor alone in the house before driving to the promenade at Eastbourne where he threw the murder weapon into the sea, the court heard.

The couple built up more than £1m in savings and investments over a 25-year marriage.

State benefits the couple were paid to provide for their two severely disabled adopted children totalled around £300,000-a-year.

Jackie Hoadley

They lived in a £300,000 house with their adopted children.

Ms Carberry told the jury: “Raymond Hoadley told friends he was frustrated with his wife and he wanted to divorce and sort out their finances.

“He told a friend his wife could have the £300,000 family home and the allowances for the children and he could have the rest.”

They were both directors of another £300,000 fund started from a criminal injury award given to their daughter.

Raymond Hoadley arrives at court

Ms Carberry told the court Mr Hoadley had drawn up an agreement between the couple after losing his temper with his wife.

“That document drawn up a very short time before his wife’s death indicates his very real interest in the substantial financial affairs of the couple.

“You may find money had something to do with the motivation behind this killing,” Ms Carberry said.

The couple adopted Eleanor, nine, and Matthew, now aged 16, Both children are severely disabled and require 24-hour care.

Jackie Hoadley

Matthew was in residential care with Chailey Heritage School when his mother was killed.

Mrs Hoadley was a well-respected disability rights campaigner who had worked to improve the lives of children and families dealing with complex issues.

Mr Hoadley moved out of the family home in April after spending time in psychiatric care. He denies murder.

The trial continues.

Jackie Hoadley