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A Lancashire jury found a man guilty for the murder of his girlfriend, who has been missing for more than two years.

Alan Edwards, 48, allegedly last saw his girlfriend, Susan Waring, outside his flat in Darwen, Lancashire on January 30 2019. CCTV shows Waring shopping with her partner on January 29 – the last sighting of the victim. According to the defendant, he kissed her goodbye the next day and never saw her again. According to BBC News, the victim’s mother reported her missing several days later.

Police arrested Edwards in March 2019, after a forensic examination found blood on the walls of his flat. Officers then found more than 100 spots of blood and trace of the victim’s DNA on a skull mask. An examination of the defendant’s phone shows he visited the hook-up website¬† regularly after the disappearance of Waring.

According to the prosecution, Edwards is a ‘violent bully’ who killed his 45-year-old girlfriend. A neighbour told the jury that Edwards often called Waring, who had learning difficulties, ‘stupid’ and a ‘dumb baby’. Another neighbour allegedly witnessed the suspect punch the victim in the face two weeks prior to her disappearance. After asking her if she was alright, Waring supposedly told her neighbour, ‘He always hits me’.

Jurors took less than 90 minutes to reach a unanimous guilty verdict of murder. Despite the verdict, Edwards denies ever being violent to his girlfriend. However, police also convicted Edwards for similar offences against four other women, such as murder threats and grievous bodily harm. Edwards allegedly subjected all four victims to violence.

The jury sentenced Edwards to life, after which there is a consideration for parole. Police have not found Waring’s body.

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