A woman says she was 'appalled' and 'horrified' when a couple having a torrid affair asked if she could give them her ex-boyfriend's details so they hire him to kill the man's wife.

Jane Bunting, who was a teenager at the time, told a murder conspiracy trial that Allen Morgan, now 73, said the death of his first wife Carol would be “the solution to his problems” as he continued a “passionate but forbidden” affair with Margaret Spooner, now 75.

Morgan and Margaret Spooner, now his wife Margaret Morgan, deny conspiring to kill Carol, 36, after her death 40 years ago in her corner shop.

Luton Crown Court heard how Jane, then 17, was taken to a pub with Allen Morgan and Margaret Spooner, who now live in Brighton, in the summer of 1981.

Jane, now 60, said: "The whole conversation had begun with Margaret referring to Allen wanting out of his marriage and hating his wife.

“Allen said, 'You can always pay someone' [to kill Carol Morgan].

"He turned to me directly and addressed me and said, 'What about that Danny Mayhew you went out with? He's a bit of a criminal, wouldn't he know someone?'

“He was talking about the death of his wife being the solution to his problems.

"I was appalled, I was 17 and a half. I was a kid and I felt it was a wrong conversation. I think per se, it was a wrong thing to be saying in any arena. But, I was a kid, and I felt it was more likely me who was in the wrong because I was with two adults.

"He asked me to give Margaret [Danny's] number and then they could contact him themselves and ask him if he knew anyone. I said 'no', followed by an expletive.

"I told Allen that he needed to get a divorce and stop making this everyone else's problem and I stood up and left.”

Just a month later, Carol Morgan was found murdered in her corner shop in Linslade, Bedfordshire on August 13, 1981.

The court also heard that Ms Bunting was comforted by Margaret Spooner after the discovery of Carol Morgan’s body.

Ms Bunting says she told Spooner that ‘he [Allen Morgan] killed her’ but that Spooner told her he was ‘at the cinema with the kids’.

Ms Bunting gave a witness statement to police on September 7, 1981, at her home in Leighton Buzzard, with her father present thoughout.

Pavlos Panayi KC, prosecuting, asked her: "In your witness statement, you did not mention the conversation you had in The Dolphin pub. I'd like you to explain why.'

Ms Bunting replied: "Because Margaret asked me not to."

Pressed again, Ms Bunting said: "Because I owed her and I was loyal to her. I did think about it outside of her asking me and my loyalty to her. I'd had my own encounters with authority and police, I'd been treated in a certain way as an adolescent and I didn't think I'd be believed."

By Christmas, Ms Bunting says that Allen Morgan and Margaret Spooner had left Linslade. She did not hear from Margaret again until 1987 when they had a phone conversation to catch up.

In March 2021, Bedfordshire Police reopened the Carol Morgan murder investigation.

Officers tracked down witnesses and found Ms Bunting's mother living at the same address in Leighton Buzzard, where they left their contact details.

Ms Bunting was told about it by her mother and phoned police on March 18, 2021, where she disclosed the conversation at The Dolphin pub.

Asked why, she said: "I was 17. I didn't see it as we see it now, I didn't know how important it was then. I didn't realise.

"I'd grown up and I was more confident, I didn't feel so hounded as I did back then. I had always felt responsible in some way, it troubled me."

Mr Panayi asked her: "Responsible how?"

She said: "Because I'd heard that conversation. Like I'd done something wrong. If I spoke about it, I'd done something wrong. It was a muddle, I wasn't really great at my life at 17 and a half and it didn't get much better for a while. Life is difficult."

The trial continues.