THE wife of a Nantwich man alleged to have been tortured to death has told a court she was kidnapped and taken to the scene.
Julie Waters, 43, said she was taken from her family home at Mainwaring Close, Stapeley, by two masked men.
Mrs Waters, who is living under police protection, stood behind a curtained screen at Chester Crown Court - just a few feet from the men accused of killing her husband - as she spoke of her ordeal.
Barely audible and clearly distressed, she told the court her home was ransacked by masked men, demanding money on June 19 last year, before she was driven to Burnt House Farm in Tabley.
It is alleged the men were part of a gang who subjected her 44-year-old husband to a slow and painful death in a makeshift torture chamber, hours earlier.
Evidence has also been given that her two children Natalie, 22, and Gavin, 26, and a friend of the family, Suleman Razak, 21, were also held captive.
Mrs Waters broke down in tears as she told the jury that when she arrived at the farm, which is near to Junction 19 of the M6 motorway, she was covered by a duvet and left alone in the back of the car. When she looked up she saw a number of police officers.
She said: 'I am not sure how long I was in the back of the car.
'I didn't know what was going on. I could see I was at Burnt House Farm, then I heard noises from the barn.
'I had only been in it once before because it was nasty and smelly.
'I walked in and I saw both my children. They were tied up. Gavin was trying to reach his sister. Natalie was on the floor with her feet and her hands tied up, and she had tape around her face and in her hair. Then I saw Suleman. He was in a chair, he looked a real mess.
'I went to help Natalie. I just needed to get the tape off her face. I tried to get it off but she shouted at me that I was hurting her.
'Then I shouted to a police officer words to the effect 'untie my baby'.
'I realised I hadn't seen my husband. I said 'where is Brian' and someone said 'he's over there'. I saw Brian lying on the floor.'
Asked if she realised he was dead, she replied 'yes'.
Describing events earlier, Mrs Waters told the jury she was alone in the house, except for the family dogs.
She said: 'It was early afternoon when I answered the phone. Gavin was on the other end. He said some friends were coming to pick something up. He sounded different, it was not his normal voice, he sounded mumbled.
'As I was on the phone I looked out of the dining room window and saw a car which looked like my car in the drive. I dropped the phone to answer the door, intending to go back to the call.
'A man was stood at the door, I didn't really see his face because he wasn't looking at me. I took the dogs and shut them in the lounge. When I turned round he had a balaclava on and was running up the stairs.
'Then someone grabbed me in a headlock and pushed me to the floor.'
She added: 'I was ushered up the stairs. They said something about £20,000 and a secret drawer in a wardrobe. I showed it to them but it was completely empty.
'We had a couple of hundred pounds that we had saved up to take Natalie to Alton Towers for her birthday, but that is all the money we had.'
Mrs Waters said she was bundled into the back of the family Mercedes and covered with a duvet off Natalie's bed. She was taken to Burnt House Farm where she was told to wait in the car.
She said: 'I don't know how long it was. I waited for a little while and then looked up.'
John Godfrey Wilson, 54, of Cliff Road, Glossop, Derbyshire, is charged, along with James Stuart Raven, 45, of Parnham Close, Bolton; Otis Matthews, 27, of Melbourne Avenue, Manchester; and Ashley Guishard, 30, of York Road, Sale, with murdering Brian Waters and two counts of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm. All deny the charges.
The trial continues.