Susan Edwards abuse

Landscapers on Sky Atlantic: Was Susan Edwards abused and why was it inadmissible in court?

Olivia Colman plays the double murderer...

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Landscapers on Sky Atlantic stars National Treasure Olivia Colman as double murderer Susan Edwards – but was Susan the victim of abuse?

And, if so, why was it inadmissible in court?

Here’s everything you need to know about Susan Edwards’ “traumatic past”.

Landscapers on Sky stars Olivia Colman
Olivia Colman plays real life murderer Susan Edwards in Landscapers (Credit: Sky Atlantic)

Read more: Landscapers on Sky Atlantic: First trailer is released

Was Susan Edwards the victim of abuse?

Susan Edwards claims her father sexually abused her for years.

She claimed her father had abused her between the ages of seven and 11.

Court reports say she hated her parents – her father for the abuse, and her mother for turning a blind eye.

Susan Edwards told the court: “She [my mum] said I was an unwanted child, she wanted an abortion, they both wanted an abortion.

“She told me she knew that my father abused me.”

She added: “I tried to get on with my mother but I hated him, mainly for the abuse and the violence as well.”

The trial judge, Mrs Justice Thirlwall, accepted “on reflection and balance” that Mrs Edwards had been sexually abused by her father as a child.

She conceded that the abuse had formed the basis of her hatred for him.

Susan Edwards abuse: Why was it inadmissible in court?

Judge Thirlwall conceded that the abuse had formed the basis of Susan’s hatred for her parents.

In her sentencing remarks, she said: “That background may well explain why you hated him, which you did, and why you have no remorse about killing him.”

But she added: “Given that you left home in the early 1980s, some 15 years before the murders, I cannot accept that his conduct, wholly wrong as it was, explains your decision to kill him in 1998.”

In 2014, the judge convicted Susan and Christopher Edwards of murder and sentenced them to a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Her barrister said the length of sentence did not take into account the “provocation” of her abuse.

Susan and Christopher Edwards
Susan and Christopher Edwards killed her parents for the money (Credit: YouTube)

Read more: True story behind Olivia Colman Sky drama Landscapers as first images released

Where is Susan Edwards now?

In 2014, the judge convicted Susan and Christopher Edwards of murder and sentenced them to a minimum of 25 years in prison.

The judge called Susan “an accomplished liar and a fantasist”.

To this day, they maintain their innocence.

Susan, now 63, and Christopher, now 64, are still behind bars.

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court found the pair guilty of murder just over 16 years after they committed their crime.

Police believe Christopher shot both his in-laws with a World War Two .38 commando revolver, as he had experience of using guns.

Susan Edwards lost an appeal in 2015.

Landscapers on Sky Atlantic: What happened to Susan?

Landscapers tells the tale of married couple Susan Edwards (played by Olivia Colman) and her husband Christopher (David Thewlis).

Behind the facade of a happy marriage, they were hiding a tragic secret – they murdered her parents in cold blood.

Olivia Colman stars as Susan Edwards, one half of the so-called Mansfield Murderers.

Susan helped murder her own mother and father Patricia and William Wycherly in Nottinghamshire in 1998.

With the help of her husband, Susan had shot both her parents and buried them in a shallow grave in their back garden.

They committed the money partly for financial gain – they wanted access to Patricia and William’s bank accounts.

The pair managed to hide the crime for years.

After going on the run and ending up in France, they eventually turned themselves in in 2012.

Landscapers on Sky stars Olivia Colman and David Thewlis and based on a true story
Olivia Colman and David Thewlis portray Susan and Christopher Edwards (Credit: Sky)

Susan Edwards abuse

Olivia Colman says about portraying Susan Edwards: “You don’t know what happened that night [when Susan Edwards’ parents were murdered].

“But the fact that there’s historical abuse, that she was abused by her father…

“That does something to a person.

“We know now that if this happens to you as a child, it might not come out until you’re an adult.”

She added: “But, for some reason in Susan’s case, that was thrown out of court as impermissible evidence.”

Meanwhile, director and co-writer Will Sharpe says: “I started to think about Susan’s backstory…

“I wondered if maybe going through something as traumatic as what she went through as a child could make you feel a certain amount of freedom was taken away from you.

“I wondered if perhaps she might have felt kind of trapped, long before she was even arrested for anything.”

All episodes of Landscapers are available to watch from Tuesday December 7 2021 on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

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