Tuesday, February 09, 2010, 11:53
By Lucy Buckland
VICTIM: Linda Casey
A gardener battered his married lover to death and dumped her body in woodland after discovering she was having another affair, the Old Bailey heard today (Tuesday).
Jealous Peter Ling, 50, repeatedly struck Linda Casey about the head and face with a rock after the couple had sex, jurors heard.
As the 54-year-old mother-of-three, from The Drive, Coulsdon, lay dying in woodland he covered her body with leaves, left her clothes in a neatly folded pile and fled the scene in her car, it was said.
The badly decomposed body of Mrs Casey was found five days later after Ling confessed, the court heard.
Ling, who had been married to his wife Deborah for 23 years, discovered his lover was having a second affair after accessing her e-mail account.
Jurors were told he met Mrs Casey by arrangement on August 8 last year at the Ramblers Rest pub, in Outwood Lane, Chipstead, before they went to the woodland.
Prosecutor John Coffey said. "The attack was obviously a severe one, on its conclusion the defendant covered the body with leaves and left her there despite the fact she appeared still to be alive."
When her body was discovered on August 13 by police search teams, her jaw bone had been smashed and loose teeth were lying around her body.
The court was told Mrs Casey, who worked at the Parkside doctors' surgery, in South Croydon, had kept her two lovers in "ignorance of each other" for several years.
She met Ling when he was her student at horticultural evening classes at the Sutton College of Learning for Adults.
But Mrs Casey, who still lived with her estranged husband, was also seeing a second man called Ian who her daughter said she was "besotted with".
A week before her death Ling confronted her about her affairs during a visit to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) gardens at Wisley and accused her of being heartless.
Mrs Casey was reported missing on the Tuesday after her death when family were unable to contact her.
Bespectacled and grey haired Ling, of Taylor Road, Wallington, denies murder.
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