A man who hid his wife’s dead body under a bed in a caravan has been jailed for a year.
David Parker, 50, was said to have panicked, hiding the lifeless body of Jacky Parker after waking up to find she had died during the night.
Chelmsford Crown Court was told that, instead of reporting her death, he had “cleaned her up and placed her under the bed”.
He had told his brother what he had done but, in a desperate plea, asked him not to tell the police.
Parker, 50, pleaded guilty to concealing a body and two offences of breaching a restraining order banning him from contacting his wife.
As he jailed him, Judge John Dodd QC branded Parker’s actions as “callous” but said he had acted as he did “as a result of shock”.
Police found the body of 52-year-old Mrs Parker in November last year – four days after she died – at a holiday park in Essex. A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.
Judge Dodd told Parker: “King’s Lynn magistrates imposed a restraining order to prevent further contact between you and your wife. It’s clear whatever the differences, you both wanted to continue the relationship.”
He said that after Parker visited his wife in October, she had asked him to help her through ill-health.
He continued: “On October 31, when your wife had recovered from her illness, you were able to go out for the evening, having food and drink. The following morning, you found your wife was dead.
“You cleaned her up after she had vomited and placed her body under a bed in a spare room. You rang your brother and told him what had happened and asked him not to spread the news.
“As a result of your brother’s public spiritedness, the police were told. There was a lengthy and thorough investigation into the circumstances. You were unable to attend her funeral but you were not in any way responsible for her death.”
Stephen Levy, in mitigation, said his client’s actions were the result of shock.
Parker, of Evans Court, Halstead, had originally faced the possibility of being charged with the unlawful killing of his wife.