Although having reached an agreement to sell her share of the business to him for £25,000 a financially-strapped Richard kept stalling his ex-wife, who finally grew impatient of being fobbed-off and demanded that she be paid by the following day. With the money still not forthcoming and Richard now refusing to acknowledge her phone calls, Patricia called round to 8 Coronation Street to confront him.
Following her unnerving remarks, Richard promptly ushered Patricia out of the house - not wanting his fiancée Gail Platt or her family to find out about the true extent of his financial problems. He took Patricia to The Ridings in nearby Crimea Street - the development where new flats were due to be built - to explain that he was unable to pay her.
After Patricia threatened to expose Richard as a cheat and a liar, and arguing about how much her investment was now worth, Patricia stumbled into a trench due for underpinning the following day. Instead of helping her, Richard let his anger burst out and grabbed a nearby spade. He hit her over the head with it and the force of the blow killed her instantly. Following the approval of a building inspector, the underpinning work finally went ahead, as arranged, the next day. The process of pouring the concrete was halted when Steve McDonald found a woman's bracelet lying in the trench but Richard was quick to conjure up a story that it belonged to a potential buyer and took the bracelet off him. Work recommenced and Patricia's body was buried underneath the concrete.
Her body was eventually dug up in February 2003 when police ordered excavation of the site following Richard's confession of his heinous crimes to wife, Gail.
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