Wealthy widow Maureen Cosgrove did not like her prospective son-in-law one bit.
To her eyes, George Maben was using her 34 year-old daughter Lucy Rees to get a free ride. He was jobless, lazy and inconsiderate. He tossed his cigarette butts in her flower beds at her £700,000 home in Carshalton Beeches, Surrey. He kept leaving his jacket over a chair instead of hanging it up. No matter how many times she told him, he never took any notice.
‘They would argue over silly irrational things,’ said Miss Rees. ‘He wouldn’t take his shoes off when he walked into the house.
‘He had been staying there rent free. He was not working, and I was seven months pregnant.’
After a series of arguments, George Maben went back to live with his mother in her two-bedroomed home in Morden, Surrey, and was only allowed to stay over with Lucy at weekends.
On March 24, 2009, Maben arranged to meet his partner outside his local Co-op but never turned up. Instead he rang and asked to meet her in nearby Sutton to go shopping and have a drink.
During the trip, Lucy made a series of calls to her mother but failed to get an answer.
When they returned to Maureen Cosgrove’s home, they discovered her body lying on the floor. She had been strangled with a ligature.
Maben – known as Geordie – patted her on the cheek and said: ‘Maureen wake up.’
Paramedics arrived within minutes and suggested there may have been a struggle because the back door was open.
‘I just assumed it was a burglar,’ said Lucy Rees. ‘Geordie told me I needed to sit down. He was shaking.’
During the investigation, detectives treated both Maben and his partner as suspects.