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Two sentenced for murder of William Taylor

8 Nov 2019
  • Two people have been sentenced today (Friday 8 November) for the murder of William ‘Bill’ Taylor.

  • Angela Taylor and Paul Cannon were both found guilty of murder and arson.

  • Today, they appeared back in court and were sentenced to a life sentence.

Two people have been sentenced today (Friday 8 November) for the murder of William ‘Bill’ Taylor.

At St Albans Crown Court on Monday 4 November, Angela Taylor, age 53 of Charlton Road, Hitchin and Paul Cannon, age 54 of Pirton Road, Hitchin were both found guilty of murder and arson.

Today, they appeared back in court and were sentenced to a life sentence with a minimum of 22 years for murder. They were sentenced to two years for the arson which will run concurrently.

Bill, a 69 year old farmer from Gosmore, near Hitchin, was reported missing from his home address on 4 June 2018. His body was found in the River Hiz near Charlton Road, Hitchin, on Sunday 10 February.

Bill had been involved in farming all his life and had acquired a significant amount of land and local farms in Gosmore. In 1992, he began a relationship with Angela Taylor. They married in 1997 but separated in 2015. A post-marital agreement split the estate, which was worth several million pounds.

During the trial, the jury heard that Angela met Paul Cannon in July 2017 and formed a relationship that Bill was suspicious of. By March 2018, Angela began divorce proceedings against Bill’s wishes.

The jury heard that Angela and Paul had a venomous hatred for Bill. Despite him signing over considerable land and property to Angela, she felt this was not enough. When police examined Paul’s phone, they found WhatsApp messages making it clear that he and Angela were planning on murdering Bill and potentially recruiting others to carry this out.

Around a week before his disappearance, Bill had reported an allegation of arson to police after his vehicle was set alight. Angela and Paul were subsequently found guilty of arson.

Detective Chief Inspector Carl Foster, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “I hope that Angela Taylor and Paul Cannon’s time behind bars is spent reflecting on their evil actions. Bill was a well-loved father and grandfather and not long after he was reported missing, he should have been celebrating his 70th birthday with his loved ones.

“My thoughts remain with Bill’s family, who have acted with dignity throughout the investigation and trial. While nothing will end their pain, I hope that this sentence gives them peace of mind, knowing that Bill’s murderers are facing justice in prison.”

Senior Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Waller for the CPS said: “William Taylor was a much-loved father and grandfather whose life was so cruelly taken away by his estranged wife and her partner.

“Working with the police, we were able to build a strong case which proved Angela Taylor and Paul Cannon’s guilt, and we hope the fact that both are now beginning life sentences will bring some comfort to Mr Taylor’s family.”

Video footage from Angela Taylor and Paul Cannon’s custody interviews can be viewed on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/hNpPYq6jiy0

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