Hampstead at centre of horrifying killings

THE family struck by tragedy at the hands of a murdering policeman who was mistakenly granted bail, originally came from Hampstead

Ed Thomas

THE family struck by tragedy at the hands of a murdering policeman who was mistakenly granted bail, originally came from Hampstead.

Metropolitan Police officer Garry Weddell shot himself at the weekend after killing his mother-in-law Traute Maxfield.

She was due to give evidence against him relating to the death of his wife Sandra Weddell, who was found hanged in Dunstable in January last year.

Both women are originally from Hampstead, which is also coincidentally where Judge John Bevan lives.

He was the man who controversially granted Weddell bail last year when murder charges were brought against him.

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Records show that Mrs Weddell (nee Khan) was born in 1962 at Queen Mary's Maternity Home on Heath Street, Hampstead.

Her Danish-born mother Ms Maxfield grew up in Holly Place.

She was married twice and has previously been known by the surnames Khan and Peterson.

"This is obviously a tragic loss," said Hampstead councillor Chris Knight. "For anyone born and bred here to lose their life in these circumstances, it's very sad to hear."

Many believe Weddell shot his mother-in-law because he feared she would send his children to New Zealand, after the allegations he had killed his wife believing she was having an affair.

Sandra Weddell was born in Hampstead with twin sister Liza, who subsequently moved to New Zealand but returned this week to Britain to mourn with the rest of the family in Bedfordshire.

The girls also had two brothers: Paul, who was born at the Elizabeth Garret Anderson Hospital in Belsize Grove, and Thomas who was born in Golders Green - from where father Abdul hailed.

Last Saturday Weddell, who worked as a police inspector in Barnet, blasted his mother-in-law with a shotgun before driving to nearby woodland and killing himself. She was due to testify against him in May at the trial for her daughter's murder.

"He flipped when he thought they (his children) were going to be taken to New Zealand," said one family friend.

In most circumstances people charged with murder are not granted bail because of the seriousness of the allegations and the chances that they could re-offend.

Judge Bevan, who allowed Weddell to be released on bail after he had been charged with murder, said he "could not remember" why he had taken the unusual step, which was opposed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

He said: "I hope there will be transcripts of the two bail applications. These would explain things. I can't remember the precise details so it would be wholly inappropriate to comment."