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Profile of wife killer & murderer

Malcolm Webster

The man described as a ‘murderer, fraudster, philanderer and criminal mastermind’ has been found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow.

By Shiona McCallum

19 May 2011 15:10 GMT

Malcolm Webster: Found guilty of murder at the High Court in Glasgow. Pic: © STV

It became the longest murder trial against a single accused in Scottish legal history.

For four months, Malcolm Webster arrived at the High Court in Glasgow accused of murdering his first wife in a deliberate pre planned car crash, and attempting to murder his second by the same method five years later.

On Thursday May 19, he was found guilty.

Dressed in an array of woolly jumpers and chino trousers, portly, chubby-cheeked Webster certainly did not fit the stereotype of a cold-blooded killer.

He looked nothing short of cuddly as he shuffled to court every day and sat quietly reading newspapers as he waited for his case to be called. But inside Lord Bannatyne’s courtroom, his mask was stripped away as prosecutor Derek Ogg QC forensically presented a damning body of evidence against the former nurse.

When Webster finally spoke to the court he insisted “it was not a murder, it was a tragic accident”.

But he has been revealed as a “cold-blooded” and “sadistic” killer, a serial womaniser and a fraudster, who spun a web of lies to his victims.

Perhaps above all else though, Webster was a supremely talented actor. At his wife’s funeral he played the part of a bereaved husband to perfection.

Detectives believe Webster started planning Claire Morris’ murder before their wedding in Aberdeen 18 years ago.

Webster came from a comfortable background in Surrey – the son of a former chief superintendent with, of all things, the Fraud Squad at the Metropolitan Police.

Dorothy Allan, who worked with Webster, spent time with him following Ms Morris’ death.

The mother-of-three spent a weekend on Webster’s yacht “weeks” after Claire Morris died. Webster bought the yacht shortly after he received the insurance money from his wife’s death.

After committing a near-perfect murder in 1994 and getting away with it for 17 years, he embarked on another plot of lies and deceit and began to plan the murder of his second wife.

Felicity Drumm, 50, was travelling in a car with Webster when he claimed there was something wrong with the steering.

He suddenly swerved across two lanes and then drove the car off the road, ending up in a ditch beside some trees. Webster then clutched his chest and said he was having a heart attack in an “Oscar-winning performance”.

He then planned to bigamously marry Simone Banarjee, from Oban, Argyll, to gain access to her estate.

In a web of lies he told her that he was terminally ill with leukaemia when he was actually in good health.

He pretended to be undergoing treatment for leukaemia in London, when he was in fact having a long-distance relationship with American Brenda Grant.

Twist

Webster might still be free today but for the most astonishing twist of this entire tale.

In 2006, while he was faking leukaemia, Felicity Drumm’s Jane was attending a conference in London.

She had a chance conversation with a senior officer from the Metropolitan Police and told him everything. He informed Grampian Police, who flew officers to London to question her.

It was that meeting that led to Webster’s downfall as Grampian Police started a fresh search for evidence.

In Aberdeen, pathologist James Grieve and toxicologist Duncan Stephen examined a tissue sample taken from Claire Morris at her post mortem 14 years earlier.

They devised a new technique, never tried before anywhere in the world – and found possible samples of Temazepam in her liver.

During the course of the investigation into Malcolm Webster a total of 1200 statements were taken. Every person who had a significant role in Malcolm Webster’s life over the past 20 years was tracked down and interviewed.

Witness statements were taken from New Zealand, Australia, Sierra Leone, America, France and Spain. The FBI was drafted in to take statements in the US.

Witnesses were eventually brought from Peru, Yemen, the US, New Zealand, Australia, England and Scotland to the High Court in Glasgow. Four witnesses also gave evidence via video link from New Zealand.

At one point in their preparation for the trial, prosecutor Derek Ogg and his team prepared a whiteboard of ‘Webster’s Women’ the eight women that had been taken in by him at various stages. At some points, the former nurse was seeing three women at once.

Malcolm Webster was granted bail for the duration of the trial because the murder he was alleged to have committed happened 17 years ago but he was subject to very strict bail conditions and was required to check in with police every day. He complied fully with those restrictions.

Sourced from news of Scottland by Henry Sapiecha

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