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A man accused of murdering his wife joined a support group described as ‘Tinder for widows’ within days of her death, a court has heard.
Manchester Crown Court heard that 47-year-old Paula Leeson died on June 6, 2017, while on holiday in Denmark with her husband Donald McPherson.
Ms Leeson died after drowning in a swimming pool in a rented cottage, and prosecutors have claimed that she “hated the pool’” and never went on beach or pool holidays
While it initially appeared that death of Ms Leeson’s death, had been an accident, prosecutors allege it was a 'sinister, pre-planned killing'.
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They claim that Mr McPherson forged Ms Leeson's will and took out insurance policies on her life.
Prosecutors allege that Mr McPherson 'stood to gain a vast fortune' from his wife's death, after taking out joint life insurance policies worth about £3 million.
Prosecutor David McLachlan QC said: "She (Ms Leeson) had a price on her head, and that price could only be paid out if she were dead," reports the Manchester Evening News.
Jurors were told that while Mr McPherson was still in Denmark on June 14, he completed an online application to join a support group called Widowed and Young.
"His wife had been dead eight days, her body had still yet to be repatriated and laid to rest, and he was joining Widowed and Young (WAY)," Mr McLachlan said.
Prosecutors claimed Mr McPherson 'never really showed much emotion after his wife's death'.
Mr McLachlan added: "Far from being overwhelmed from grief, Donald McPherson was partying away with the WAY group."
He said Mr McPherson later described the WAY group to his personal trainer as 'being like Tinder for widows'.
Ms Leeson's death was found to be 'assumed accidental' by the Danish authorities.
"The prosecution case is that her death was far from accidental," Mr McLachlan said.
Mr McPherson told police that he had woken up and found his wife missing – later finding her on the cottage’s swimming pool.
"I was just in fear and panic, complete panic, just complete panic, and I can’t remember fully.
"I remember getting into the pool to try and get her out and there was, yeah it was horrendous.
"It was the worst nightmare. It was completely horrible to see and I can’t describe it, it was just fear and shock and panicking."
The trial is still under way, and is expected to last six weeks.
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