The estranged wife of missing multi-millionaire farmer William Taylor and her lover appeared in court today charged with conspiring to murder him.
Angela Taylor, 52, and Paul Cannon, 53, were remanded in custody by magistrate Dr Susan Jordache when they appeared at Hatfield Remand Court.
William ‘Bill’ Taylor was last seen at his home in Gosmore, near Hitchin, North Hertfordshire, on Sunday, June 3 at around 9pm – shortly before his 70th birthday.
He was reported missing to police the following day and detectives from a Major Crime Team later said that they believed the farmer had been murdered.
An investigation is being led by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, into the disappearance of Mr Taylor (pictured) who went missing on June 3, just days before his 70th birthday
Williams (left) disappeared eight days before his milestone 70th birthday in June. Angela Taylor (right) and her lover Paul Cannon, 53, appeared in court today charged with conspiring to murder him
Central to their investigation was Mr Taylor’s burned out Land Rover Defender which was deliberately torched in the days before he went missing.
Angela Taylor of Charlton Road, Hitchin and Paul Cannon of Pirton Road, Hitchin were arrested on Thursday and charged on Friday.
She sobbed in the dock where a woman detention officer sat between them.
The pair will next appear at St Albans crown court on January 7.
Angela and William’s sons Michael, 23, and William, 18, were also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder on Thursday but have since been released on police bail while enquiries continue.
Richard Taylor has spoken of his devastation that his father has not been found and said the suspects are nothing to do with him
Hertfordshire police said: ‘Extensive enquiries and searches have been carried out in the effort to locate him before information led officers to launch a murder investigation.
‘William’s body has not yet been found and enquiries are on-going.’
In the days before William went missing his Land Rover Defender was set alight.
The arable, wheat and cattle farmer went missing from his £1.2million home in Gosmore, Hertfordshire, where he is believed to have lived alone, at around 9pm on June 3.
He was reported missing to police the following day, but as he has not yet been found.
The millionaire farmer’s eldest son had previously spoken of how he was holding onto a glimmer of hope that his father could still be alive.
Richard, who jointly farms with his father, told MailOnline: ‘Police are doing a good job… fingers crossed for a positive outcome’ and vowed: ‘It’s business as usual here.’
18-year-old William Taylor (pictured) was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder but has since been released on bail
Angela is the missing man’s second wife and Mr Taylor said of the suspects as he was carrying out farming duties. ‘They have nothing to do with me.’
He told of his heartache that his dad, known as Bill who disappeared eight days before his milestone 70th birthday in June may never be given the beautiful dog the family had bought him as a gift.
He is now caring for the puppy called Barley, believed to be a Vizsla, the companion his dad had been ‘so looking forward’ to getting.
In a poignant tribute on his Facebook Mr Taylor wrote: ‘Welcome to the family Barley. Barley was brought for my Dad for his 70th Birthday earlier this month!
Angela Taylor (left) in happier times with her children her two sons Michael, 23, and William, 18
‘Unfortunately my Dad went missing just over a month ago now and still no further forward on finding him! My Dad was looking forward to finally getting a dog again and then for him to go missing before he even gets to meet him is heartbreaking.’
He pleads: ‘If anyone knows anything or where Bill/William Taylor is please contact us or call the police.
‘Barley needs his Dad to come home and care for himself. Pray for William Taylor.’
As well as farming William’s eldest son, who lives in nearby St Ippolyts, near Hitchen, is an agricultural contractor and runs a luxury coach company Richard Taylor Travel.
Police and foresics with gas masks at the house of Angela Taylor, the ex-wife of missing farmer William Taylor
Barely the dog (pictured) was bought as a gift for the missing farmer’s 70th birthday and is still yet to meet his owner
Mr Taylor’s neighbour Ashley also told how his phone line had been cut before he disappeared.
The man, who declined to give his full name, said: ‘Everyone around here is talking about Bill’s disappearance and now police are looking for his body. It’s shocking, it’s horrific.
‘He was a lovely guy and although I didn’t know him well he would always stop to say hello.’
A woman living a few hundred yards from the scene also said: ‘Bill was well-liked around here. He didn’t say a great deal but he was very friendly.’
Ashley said that Angela had split with her husband two years ago and had a new partner. It is understood Mr Taylor married Angela in 1997 and had three children and step-son Gavin with her.
Officers were seen entering Angela’s property in September with breathing apparatus in the murder probe
A young woman living in a courtyard of converted barns opposite the investigation scene said: ‘She [Angela Taylor] was our land lady. I’m not sure if they’re [Angela and William Taylor] divorced or not. I see her with the children from time to time. They’re all really nice people. I saw her a week ago. Everything seemed fine.’
Another neighbour said she would often see Mrs Taylor walking two dogs along the quiet country lane.
Another of Mrs Taylor’s tenants said: ‘We got on absolutely fine. She was a lovely lady, it’s a big shock. We were good friends with all of them, including Bill.’
Referring to the search for Mr Taylor, the man added: ‘She [Angela] looked like she was under the weather from it. It’s not a nice thing to go through.’
Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101.
Police officers in forensics suits with sniffer dogs entered the property in September to join the search
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