POSING by his £46,000 Bentley, double murderer Stephen Seddon looked every inch the successful businessman.
He met his wife Nicola, an ex-model from Sunderland, in a lap dancing bar in Manchester 17 years ago, and they moved to Seaham.
He worked mainly in sales and in the late 90s set up a company, European Business Support, providing grants to small firms.
The company, which traded from offices in Bridge Street and St Peter’s Wharf in Sunderland, charged businesses £295 on the promise it would help secure European funding. It grew to an annual turnover of £5million, and Seddon had £2million in his bank account at one point.
The cash was used to fund a lavish lifestyle, with a BMW and a boat in the Lake District to go alongside his Bentley Turbo.
He holidayed on the QE2 and stayed in expensive hotels in Spain, Gibraltar and at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
But it was all just show. There were no European grants – he simply kept the cash.
In 2000, Seddon pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to fraudulent trading and was jailed for a year.
In the weeks before killing parents Bob and Pat, he was desperate for money, applying for high-interest, instant-access loans from various finance firms.
On the day he blasted them to death at their modest home in a quiet suburb of Manchester, he had just £5.45 in the bank, and he and wife Nicola, whom he had sponsored as part of his grants business as she launched her modelling career, were out of work.
Bob and Pat doted on their son and would do anything for him. Although they lived a “comfortable” life, they bought his home in Seaham and gave him £40,000 in cash. Months later, he killed them and tried to make it look like a murder/suicide.
In one of the last acts of his life, his father paid his son’s £60 speeding fine.
Seddon had an “insatiable thirst” for money and stood to gain £230,000 from his parents’ will. Money was his “whole world” and when he got it, he spent it fast.
Detective Superintendent Denise Worth, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This job is probably one that is very, very difficult for anybody to contemplate. That anybody could kill their parents, to plan it, and to do it for money is indescribable.
“I cannot imagine that there are many people in the world that could do it.”