Married Couple Accused of Arranging 'Brutal' Murder of Husband's Previous Wife Over 40 Years Ago

Carol Morgan was killed in her shop on Aug. 13, 1981

<p>Press Association via AP Images</p> Court artist sketch of Margaret Morgan and Allen Morgan appearing at Luton Crown Court, U.K.

Press Association via AP Images

Court artist sketch of Margaret Morgan and Allen Morgan appearing at Luton Crown Court, U.K.

A couple who have been together for over 40 years have been accused of plotting the murder of the man's previous wife.

Allen Morgan, now 73, and Margaret Morgan (née Margaret Spooner), now 75, have been accused of arranging the "brutal" murder of Carol Morgan, 36, on August 13, 1981, their Luton Crown Court trial heard on April 17, per The Times, BBC, and Sky News.

Allen and Margaret, who have since married, denied conspiracy to murder. The couple, from Brighton in England, have been accused of hiring a known killer to carry out Carol's murder in her shop, Morgan's Store in Linslade, Bedfordshire, 42 years ago, per the BBC.

PEOPLE reached out to Luton Crown Court for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

<p>Bedfordshire Police</p> Carol Morgan

Bedfordshire Police

Carol Morgan

Per the BBC, during the April 18 trial, prosecutor Pavlos Panayi said of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, “The murder of Carol Morgan was no random attack. It was planned and paid for by the two defendants in the dock."

"Had she not been murdered and had she lived these past 43 years, she would be 80 years old," Panayi added, per the outlet.

“She was killed on the evening of 13 August 1981 in a brutal attack by someone who has never been identified," the prosecutor said. “That someone used an axe or heavy knife or machete to hack into her body and skull, causing horrifying injuries from which she died.”

Allen, who married Carol in 1977, is believed to have already been having an affair with Margaret for a year when the murder took place.

Panayi told the court that a divorce wasn't an option due to Allen and Carol reportedly having debts, the BBC reported.

Panayi stated: “The prosecution say these two individuals were involved in a passionate, but forbidden and adulterous love affair which was the background to a plan which they both hatched together in secret to arrange and pay for the murder of Allen’s wife Carol Morgan.”

Following Carol's death, Margaret was said to have left her husband and moved in with Allen, and they've been together ever since.

<p>Google Maps</p> Morgan's Store, where the body of Carol Morgan was found in August 1981

Google Maps

Morgan's Store, where the body of Carol Morgan was found in August 1981

Per The Times, on the day of Carol's murder, Allen took the victim's two children from a previous marriage to the cinema in Luton, and they didn't return until almost 11 p.m. local time, leaving her alone in the shop for most of the evening.

The court was told Allen “didn’t have a strong relationship with his step-children” and "had never before taken them out without their mother” before, The Times added.

“During their absence Carol was alone in the shop. She closed the shop at 6 p.m. After she closed, an attacker or attackers entered the premises and struck," the court heard, per the BBC.

At the time, Allen stated that almost $500 in cash had been taken from the shop, along with around $44 from the till and 1,400 cigarettes.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

<p>Press Association via AP Images</p>

Press Association via AP Images

Police found "no sign of any forced entry," and Allen said he "had played no part in the murder," The Times reported.

The court heard that Carol was “hardly likely to resist a man wielding a machete or axe”, and that: “The prosecution say the motivation of this crime was never just cigarettes or cash — this was a planned murder," the outlet stated.

Witness Jane Bunting, who is now 60 but was 17 at the time, came forward in March 2021 after police reopened the case. The prosecution said Bunting, now known as Jane Robinson, was dating known criminal Danny Mayhew at the time, and Margaret and Allen allegedly asked if she knew anyone who could help them murder Carol.

The court heard that Bunting was “shocked and appalled and she left the pub” after Allen reportedly questioned whether she knew anybody that could help kill his wife, The Times stated.

“The prosecution suggest her evidence does provide an additional support for the prosecution case that the defendants together wanted Carol Morgan dead and had begun to plan for the recruitment of a man to kill her,” Panayi told the court, according to the outlet.

“We do not know who they eventually found to commit the murder and that man may never be brought to justice,” the prosecutor stated.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.