Louise Woodward’s Parents: What Happened to Susan and Gary?

Susan and Gary Woodward, residing in Elton in Cheshire, England, received the shocking news that their teenage daughter had been arrested for the murder of a 9-month-old baby while they were far from home. They found it bewildering to imagine that their beloved child, who had left high school to embark on a gap year and explore the world in Boston, Massachusetts, could be involved in such a troubling situation. Throughout the ensuing trial, which is depicted in Channel 4’s ‘The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It?’, both parents steadfastly supported their daughter, presenting a united front. They eventually succeeded in bringing her back home after her release from prison.

Susan and Gary Woodward Flew to Boston to Support Louise

Gary and Susan Woodward tied the knot in 1974 when both of them were 18 years old. They established their home in the village of Elton in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, and were blessed with two daughters, Louise and Vicky. The family enjoyed many joyful years together and integrated smoothly into the local community, actively engaging in both receiving support and giving back to others. Despite being working-class individuals, they encountered challenging times when Susan held a job at Safeway in Upton near Chester from 1988 to 1991.

Reports indicate that Susan was tasked with managing cash, coupons, and vouchers during her employment, and allegations arose suggesting that she had been inflating the value of coupons and vouchers and later replacing them with cash. These actions led to accusations of dishonesty, resulting in her suspension and subsequent disciplinary hearings. However, as Susan failed to attend many of these hearings, the charges against her were ultimately dropped, and no criminal proceedings ensued.

Following this, Susan secured employment as a clerical worker in Elton, while Gary continued his work as a joiner in Ellesmere Port. When their daughter expressed her desire to venture beyond their small town and explore Boston, Susan and Gary were supportive of her decision. However, their world was turned upside down when they received news of her arrest on charges related to the death of a baby. Susan felt compelled to stand by her daughter’s side and flew to Boston, where she stayed at the residence of Elaine Whitfield Sharp, a lawyer on Louise’s defense team. Gary also made frequent trips to Boston and lodged in the same accommodation.

They remained unwaveringly supportive of Louise throughout the trials, providing unwavering support during both the highs and lows of the legal proceedings. They openly expressed their belief in her innocence to the media and stood by her side during the emotional rollercoaster of the trial. When Louise was convicted of second-degree murder, they shared in her anguish, shedding tears alongside their daughter. The reduction of her conviction to involuntary manslaughter and the subsequent reduction of her sentence brought them considerable relief. They waited until the highest court upheld the decision before accompanying Louise back to England.

Susan and Gary Woodward Faced a Trial in 1999

During the period when Susan and Gary Woodward were awaiting the confirmation of the conviction, Louise Woodward reportedly sold her story to the Daily Mail. It was rumored that Elaine Whitfield Sharp had strongly advised against this action, and some tabloid magazines suggested that she had criticized the parents for allowing the story to be sold, despite prior assurances that they would not do so. Allegedly, Sharp referred to them as “vile” and “low-class” individuals. However, Sharp denied making any such remarks, stating that she had not commented in that manner.

In 1999, Susan and Gary found themselves embroiled in another legal dispute when they were accused of defrauding a £250,000 appeal fund established after their daughter’s conviction for the death of Matthew Eappen. They faced charges of fabricating and submitting a fraudulent invoice of £9,113 to the Louise Woodward and Family Trust for reimbursement. The invoice purportedly detailed rental expenses of $1500 per month for their stay at Elaine Whitfield Sharp’s residence.

Critics contended that the quoted rent was unreasonably high for the area, and there were allegations that they had not paid any rent to Sharp. Susan and Gary asserted their innocence, explaining that many of their invoices had been routinely approved without scrutiny, leading to oversights in their invoice preparation. They argued in court about their financial instability due to the expenses incurred during the legal trial, although some contended that they had earned significant sums from the Daily Mail and seen an increase in their asset value. However, the court ultimately acquitted them of the charges leveled against them.

In 2003, it was reported that Susan and Gary had been separated for many years, with Gary revealing his intention to marry another woman named Margaret Hornsby, with whom he had been living since 1998. They asserted that Susan was aware of the situation but remained together during Louise’s trial, informing her of their separation only after her release from prison. Since then, they have chosen to keep a low profile and stay out of the public eye.

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