THE family of murder victim Carol Jarvis have said they don’t know whether to hate the woman who helped cover up the killing.
Pastry heiress Rita Heyster, 57, who helped her married lover Harry Jarvis cover up the murder of his sickly wife, was yesterday jailed for four and a half years.
Mrs Jarvis’ son, Kevin, 25, and daughter Kimberley, 20, were in court to see their father’s mistress led to the cells.
Afterwards, Kevin said: “I don’t have any feelings towards her. I don’t know if I should.
“I don’t know whether I should hate her but I have no connection with this woman, so I don’t feel anything.”
He continued: “I feel more for her family, to be honest with you. They have lost a mum, albeit in a different way.”
Heyster was said to be infatuated with the killer – living in a shed in his garden for weeks.
She moved, briefly, into his home in Bathgate, West Lothian, where the body of Carol Jarvis, 47, was found hidden under the floor. Jarvis and Heyster were arrested by police in September 2009.
Jailing Heyster at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, judge Lord Brailsford said her actions had a “practical and pernicious effect”.
The delay in discovering Mrs Jarvis’ body had made it impossible to discover how she died and had caused “acute distress” to her family who didn’t know where she was.
In court, solicitor advocate Ray McMenamin, defending, pleaded for leniency – blaming Harry Jarvis. The lawyer told Lord Brailsford: “Her fall from grace has been inextricably linked to her relationship and infatuation with Harry Jarvis.”
Passing sentence, the judge said he was taking into account the “devious and manipulative” actions of Heyster’s lover, but said she had committed a serious offence.
Kevin Jarvis said: “I don’t believe that she is the victim of this devious wickedness of dad at all because, while he may have some of these traits, she still has her own decision making going on in her own head.”
He added: “No-one makes another person live in a shed if they don’t want to.”
Harry Jarvis and Rita Heyster had both faced a murder charge but, for legal reasons, went to trial separately. Jarvis was found guilty of murdering his wife and jailed for life in March.
He must wait 15 years before he can ask for parole.