Ex-soldier wrongly jailed for infamous unsolved murder is found dead

A former soldier who spent six years in jail after being wrongly convicted of the violent murder of a pregnant housewife, has died aged 64.

Eddie Browning was jailed for the notorious M50 murder of Marie Wilks, before being released in 1994.

The pregnant housewife, 22, was found with her throat cut on side of the motorway near Bushley, in Hereford and Worcester, after her car had broken down in June 1988.

She was attacked while making an emergency call.

In a recording of that call the police operative can be heard repeating "Mrs Wilks" over and over again.

Her 11-year-old sister Georgina was found clutching Marie’s 13-month-old son as they wandered along the road trying to find her.

The killing made national headlines and lead to a huge murder hunt involving almost every force in England and Wales.

Seven days later former Welsh Guardsman Eddie Browning, 41, from Cwmparc in the Rhondda, South Wales, was arrested after a colleague reported he looked like a photofit that had been issued.

Mr Browning resembled the picture, had a history of violence, owned a butterfly knife and had driven from his home to Scotland in his silver Renault 25 after a row with his wife on the evening of the murder.

At his trial, Mr Browning maintained his innocence and said he had used the M4, Severn Bridge and M5 on the night, not the M50.

He was found guilty and spent six years behind bars before being released in May 1994 after the Court of Appeal decided his conviction was unsafe, because evidence was kept from his trial by the police.

Browning later received a substantial pay-out, believed to be in more than £600,000, as compensation for the time he spent in prison.

No-one has been brought to justice for the crime.

It is understood he went to live on a farm in Ceredigion after being released from prison.

In 2005, he was cleared of unlawfully carrying an illegal knife in a public place, but admitted driving while three times the legal limit.

He successfully argued that he had good reason for having the knife as he used the three-inch blade on his cattle farm to cut bails of hay and had forgotten it was in his pocket when he went out.

He said friends had spiked his drink without his knowledge.

Dyfed Powys Police said they were called to the sudden death of a 63-year-old man at around 6pm on May 13.

A spokeswoman said: "The man died at home in the Llanfair Clydogau area of Lampeter. Next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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