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Divers search new quarry in Catherine hunt

SPECIALIST divers concentrated on a second quarry as they continued their search for the body of missing Irishwoman Catherine Gowing (37).

Teams of police officers and divers were carrying out a detailed examination of the quarry and water in North Wales, close to where Catherine's burnt-out car was found last week.

It is understood the area by Alltami in Mold is made up of a lot of small quarries, which are being searched.

The officers also carried out searches of a wooded area while a police helicopter circled the scene, which was sealed off.

Teams of divers returned to the site today to continue the search in the quarry's lakes, which are 30 metres deep.

Clive Sharp (46) of no fixed abode was charged with Catherine Gowing'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.

The accused's step-father, John Whyte, who lives near Mold -- close to where Catherine, a vet, lived and worked -- broke down as he told the Herald that he will leave his Welsh home over the murder.

"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.

Mr Whyte's wife Margaret, the mother of Mr Sharp, passed away from stomach cancer in May of this year.

The frail Welsh man is also battling stomach cancer and revealed how the stress and worry as a result of the murder 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.

Fighting back tears, Mr Whyte added that 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," he explained.

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.

hnews@herald.ie


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