Observer Comment: We will never know the truth about Vicky’s death

IT is difficult to comprehend how such tragedy and pain can strike a family like the Couchmans.

Dean was killed in a car crash in which Victoria was lucky to escape alive.

Victoria suffered the pain of a still born baby and split up with the father’s partner.

She endured an allegedly tempestuous relationship with her father who then is then accused of killing her before going on to kill himself.

But there lies another tragedy at the heart of this case.

Based upon the files that the police would have brought to his murder trial, it is clear to see far beyond reasonable doubt that all the evidence was purely circumstantial.

The trial would have been based on circumstances and no material evidence.

There was no DNA, no clothing sample, no witnesses, no apparent history of violence towards his daughter and no apparent convictions for violent criminal offences. This man apparently cared about his grandaughter and wanted to look after her more than anything else.

This man obviously had issues but do we know anything about his state of mind?

It is alleged he sent text messages pretending to be his daughter, his car was in the vicinity on the day in question, he bought a mobile phone in Bexhill and he had a difficult relationship with his teenage daughter.

A man of 47 years of age, he had 11 convictions for theft and firearms offences, hardly a career criminal.

Would that be enough to convince any jury in the land? Would it be enough to tip a troubled man, languishing in a harsh prison environment over the edge?

We will never know the answers to these questions nor to who killed that tragic happy-go-lucky teenager from down the road. RIP Vicky.


AS new tenants are being sought for St Mary-in-the-Castle, the iconic seafront building, now is the time to think big.

While excellent work has been and continues to be done by Barbara Rogers and her team, maintaining the venue as a community facility, there appears to be untapped potential for turning St Mary-in-the-Castle into the talk of the town, if not the county.

With a whole host of period features, dating back to the early 19th century, the former church is a building once seen, never forgotten.

It would be fitting therefore if the new tenants, whoever they may be, would offer a packed weekly programme of events including high profile musicians, comedians, speakers, exhibitions... the list goes on.

The venue seats around 500, yet is rarely full. This could change.

Perhaps ideas could be invited from the community as to how they would like to see St Mary-in-the-Castle used.