Murder accused 'tortured woman by having pet ferret gnaw at her legs', court told

A general view of Preston Crown Court, Preston.
Alan Edwards is being tried at Preston Crown Court. (PA)

A man accused of murdering his partner tortured a woman by tying her to a chair and having a pet ferret gnaw at her injured legs, a court has been told.

She is one of four women prosecutors say Alan Edwards frequently attacked before going on to murder Susan Waring.

Waring, 45 has not been seen early 2019, and Edwards denies being responsible for her death, saying she kissed him goodbye and walked out of his flat in Darwen, Lancashire, in late January of that year.

He also denies being violent and controlling to Waring and other women. In total, Edwards denies murder, causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.

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Susan Waring's body has not been found. (PA/Lancashire Police)
Susan Waring's body has not been found. (PA/Lancashire Police)

One of the women told Preston Crown Court Edwards assaulted her a number of times, in one instance using steel toe-capped boots to kick her in the legs after putting her against a wall.

She was later left in "excruciating pain" after he used a knife to pick at the scabs of her wounds, then tied her to a chair and brought out a ferret to gnaw at her injured legs.

The woman, who has not been identified, said she was "too frightened of Alan to consult anybody" for medical help and still has scars.

Defending Edwards, John Jones QC said: "The incident is so extreme you would have said something to someone.”

The woman said: “I never told anybody anything.”

She also told jurors that Edwards pointed a gun at her head and threw her off a first-floor balcony.

“He behaved horrendous towards me," she told the court.

Previously, jurors have heard Edwards had a Halloween-style mask that was marked with blood that contained Waring's DNA. Her mother raised the alarm about her disappearance and there is no evidence she is still alive, prosecutors say.

The court has also been told Edwards kicked a woman in the abdomen when she was pregnant.

The trial continues.

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