Wednesday 24 May 2017

Life for wife-killer who plotted second spouse murder

Andy Philip in Edinburgh

A "WICKED" husband who murdered his first wife in a staged car crash and tried to kill his second in a copycat smash has been jailed for at least 30 years.

Malcolm Webster (52) was handed a life sentence for killing Claire Morris (32) in the planned crash in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1994 and trying to kill Felicity Drumm in 1999 in New Zealand.

His "cold-blooded, brutal and callous" crimes, driven by an insatiable appetite for money, formed part of a fraudulent plot to pocket almost £1m (€897,712) in insurance payouts. The former nurse, from Guildford, south-east England, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.

After the hearing, Ms Morris's brother Peter said: "It's the correct sentence for an extremely dangerous criminal who is a mass danger to society."

Standing outside the court building, he added: "I believe, despite his mild-mannered appearance, you are dealing with a very dangerous and a very wicked man, who if he was still at large in society would be a danger to many women."

Handing Webster a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years, Judge Lord Bannatyne said he could find no mitigation for the "dreadful" crimes.

"The murder of your then wife was an appalling one and all right-minded people will be utterly shocked," he told Webster, who sat silently in the dock wearing a grey jumper, shirt and jeans. "It also was a murder which was cold-blooded, brutal and callous," he added.

Irish Independent

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