Saturday 23 September 2017

Step-father of man accused of killing Catherine' Gowing says he 'wants to die'

Catherine Gowing was last seen in a supermarket in Queensferry, Flintshire, on the evening of Friday, October 12
Catherine Gowing was last seen in a supermarket in Queensferry, Flintshire, on the evening of Friday, October 12
Clive Sharp being led from court in Mold, north Wales, by a prison service escort after being remanded in custody
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE STEP-FATHER of Clive Sharp, who is accused of murdering Irish vet Catherine Gowing, has disowned him.

Fighting back tears, John Whyte also said he can't bring himself to think of the Gowing family and what they must be going through.

"It's too much, I can't go there. It makes me ill to think of her poor family and what they are feeling."

Mr Whyte, who lives near Mold in north Wales, close to where Catherine lived and worked, broke down as he told the Irish Independent that he will leave his Welsh home over the killing. His step-son Clive Sharp was charged with the crime over the weekend.

"I can't stay here. I think I'm going to have to leave my home and go abroad. I've lost everything now. What's there left to live for. I just want to die," he said.

Cancer

Mr Whyte's wife Margaret, the mother of Mr Sharp, passed away from stomach cancer in May this year. The frail Welshman is also battling stomach cancer and revealed how the stress and worry as a result of the killing was affecting his health.

"I've no peace since it happened. I haven't been able to sleep. This is not going to go away, is it? My doctor has told me that this is affecting me too much," he said.

Mr Whyte revealed how neither he nor his wife had had much contact with Clive Sharp in recent years.

"He did his own thing. We never really saw or spoke to him. Even when we lost Margaret, there wasn't much contact," he said.

Clive Sharp (46), of no fixed abode, was charged with Catherine's murder at a sitting of Mold Magistrate's Court on Saturday. He was remanded to Altcourse prison in Liverpool until tomorrow, when he will appear before Caernarfon Crown Court.

Welsh police involved in the search for Catherine have moved the search site as they began to concentrate on a second quarry near where her burnt-out car was discovered last Friday.

Teams of police carried out searches of the wooded area while a police helicopter circled the scene, which was sealed off. Special teams of divers are due to return to the site today to continue the search in the quarry's lakes, which are 30 metres deep.

Catherine's sister, Emma Gowing, and her husband, Shay Maguire, remain in the area as the search for the vet continues. They have vowed to stay in Wales until Catherine is found and can be brought home.

Meanwhile, friends of the family in Ireland have offered to travel to Wales to help with the search for Catherine.

"A lot of people have offered to go over to search or bring her parents over but we're not sure if we would be allowed to help. We want to find Catherine but we don't want to get in the way of the police," said a family friend.

"Her parents don't want to go over. It would only make it worse for them to be there. Emma is keeping them informed of everything that happens," he added.

Friends and family of Catherine gathered at Kinnitty Church in Co Offaly last Friday -- as the search for her body continued -- to remember the popular vet.

Welsh friends from Mold and the surrounding areas also gathered together to pray for the missing woman this week.

Fr Francis Doyle of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Buckley, North Wales, led a rosary for Catherine last week and will say a number of masses for the young woman this week.

He revealed how many of the congregation had known Catherine personally and were devastated by her disappearance.

The 37-year-old was reported missing after she failed to arrive at work at the Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold, North Wales, a week ago today.

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