Man accused of double Sussex murder ‘looked like he had turned into the Incredible Hulk’ after killing his wife and neighbour

A car mechanic accused of double murder looked as if he had ‘turned into the Incredible Hulk’ after beating his wife and an elderly woman to death, a court heard.

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th November 2020, 9:44 am

Daniel Appleton, 38, described as six foot one and 20 stone, broke down as the court heard witnesses describe finding his wife Amy, 32, lying on their driveway, bleeding from a massive head injury.

He is also accused of murdering Sandra Seagrave, 76, with her walking stick when she confronted him on the street outside the house at Crawley Down near Gatwick last Christmas.

The court heard he used the same stick to kill his wife before trying to take his own life in the kitchen of his home.

Daniel Appleton arrives at Lewes Crown Court

The first policeman in the house, Sgt Christopher Brakell, said: “What I found quite strange was the living room was quite normal, Christmas tree and presents.

“This was just a quaint address, ready for Christmas. It surprised me to see such normality around such chaos.

“I thought he was going to die. I’ve never seen so much blood in my life.”

Nicholas Corsellis QC for the Crown told the court it is the prosecution case Appleton had taken a powerful form of synthetic LSD.

The court heard Appleton was experiencing a psychotic episode.

Neighbour Susan Kipps said she saw Appleton pacing the driveway naked, at around 10.30am on Sunday, December 22.

She told police: “I realised it was Daniel. He seemed very agitated and angry.

“He was sort of puffed up and behaving totally differently. His eyes weren’t right.

“It was as though he had turned into the Incredible Hulk.

“He looked like he was on another planet, like he had lost the plot. He looked big, bold and scary.”

Appleton began to weep in the dock as the jury at Lewes Crown Court in Hove heard how his wife was found lying half underneath an Audi parked on their drive.

Mrs Kipps told Sussex Police: “He began leaning over his car and was sweeping his leg from side to side.

“I couldn’t see what he was trying to move. I now know Amy was down there.”

One of the first people to discover the body of Amy Appleton told how her husband admitted killing her.

Neighbour Gary Wigzell said he could feel a faint pulse when he tried to rouse Amy, a popular school teacher.

She had a massive head injury and was lying face down.

Daniel Appleton emerged naked from the house. Mr Wigzell said he appeared agitated.

“He was angry, agitated. His hands were on his hips and he was shaking his hips.

“After he gestured up the driveway, he took one step closer and lent over me and said I know I’ve killed my wife and I know I’m going to prison.

“I suggested he go back indoors.I thought for the safety of everybody including himself.”

Appleton had locked himself out of the house and had to kick the door in.

“There was an element of panic, he felt trapped,” Mr Wigzell said.

“He charged the front door and kicked it open right beside the handle.”

Sussex Police Sgt Christopher Brakell described finding Appleton rocking in a pool of blood in the kitchen.

“I could see he was severely injured.”

Appleton had stabbed himself five times in the chest.

Sgt Brakell told the court it took 10 people to restrain Appleton as police and paramedics battled to save his life.

Daniel Appleton denies the murders of his wife and Sandra Seagrave.

The trial at Lewes Crown Court in Hove continues.