Husband stands by his accused wife in Lucy Dunford murder trial

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“It simply beggars belief that Lesley Dunford would have killed her daughter,” said defence lawyer Peter Gower QC.

He was addressing the jury at Lewes Crown Court where Dunford stands accused of murdering Lucy, aged three, at her Camber home in February 2004.

Mr Gower said that Lesley was a caring and capable mother.

He said: “The Reverend Murdoch was impressed with the care of the children and said they seemed to be a family who did things together.

“She said she had never seen Mrs Dunford behave in an aggressive way toward her children.

“Shirley Bannister, from Camber Caterpillars playgroup, said Lucy was not subject to any physical or emotional abuse and that she had no cause for concern.

“Husband Wayne described her as a great mum and said ‘If I thought that Lesley would not have been able to cope with the children I would not have taken the job’

“The prosecution don’t have to prove a motive, but in the real world, by and large, people do not kill for no reason at all.

“The crown say they cannot pinpoint exactly why it happened - well that is the understatement of the century.

“There is absolutely nothing that would begin to provide a reason for her doing something so completely out of character.”

The case continues.