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Widower drama praised by family

THE brother of a woman who was murdered by her husband in a staged car accident has praised actress Sheridan Smith for her portrayal of his sister in a TV drama.

Malcolm Webster was jailed for a minimum of 30 years for killing Claire Morris in a planned crash in Aberdeenshire in 1994 and trying to kill Felicity Drumm in New Zealand in 1999 to claim insurance money.

The story has been made into an ITV drama called The Widower with Reece Shearsmith playing Webster and Smith playing Ms Morris. Her brother, Peter Morris, who advised on the production of the three-part series, has praised the cast.

He said: "Sheridan captured Claire completely. I miss that camaraderie of a sibling and I thank Sheridan for giving that back to me for a while.


"I feel as though if I want to see Claire again all I have to do is switch on this drama. At one stage off-set Sheridan hooked her arm through mine, and I told her it was exactly how Claire did it."

Former nurse Webster, from Guildford, Surrey, was handed the life sentence after being convicted of the crimes in May 2011 following a five-month trial, the longest murder trial against a single accused in Scottish legal history.

Sentencing him, Lord Bannatyne condemned his "cold-blooded, brutal and callous" crimes, driven by an insatiable appetite for money and which formed part of a fraudulent plot to pocket almost £1m (€1.2m) in insurance payouts.

Webster claimed the death of Ms Morris was a tragic accident that happened when he swerved to avoid a motorbike.

The jury heard he drugged her before driving the car they were in off an Aberdeenshire road and starting a fire while she lay unconscious inside.

He fraudulently claimed more than £200,000 (€240,000) from insurance policies following her death, later spending it on a Range Rover, a yacht and on seducing a string of women.

In 1999 he tried to murder Ms Drumm in a copycat car crash in New Zealand in an attempt to claim more than £750,000 (€896,000) of insurance money.