The Hat Trick

By DeusExMacintosh

A man has been found guilty of murdering his first wife in a car fire and attempting to kill his second in another crash to get life assurance. Former nurse Malcolm Webster, 52, had denied murdering Claire Morris in an Aberdeenshire crash in 1994. Webster, of Surrey, also denied attempting to kill Felicity Drumm in New Zealand in 1999.

Scotland’s longest-lasting single accused criminal trial had begun on 1 February at the High Court in Glasgow…

The jury of nine women and six men took less than four hours to find Webster guilty of commiting all the charges as part of frauds to obtain hundreds of thousands of pounds in life assurance. Sentencing was deferred until 5 July.

The fatal crash in 1994 was originally treated as an accident. Webster claimed he had swerved to avoid a motorcyclist. However, the crash was later reinvestigated after concerns were raised in the wake of the second crash on the other side of the world. New tests showed Claire Morris had traces of drugs in her system.

His second wife also suspected that he had later been spiking her food in New Zealand. Their car crashed with Webster at the wheel, but she survived. She would discover he had cheated her of her life savings. Her sister later told a police officer of her concerns in a chance meeting which proved to be pivotal in the case.

Webster, of Guildford, was also found guilty of intending to bigamously marry Simone Banarjee, from Oban, Argyll, to gain access to her estate. He pretended to have leukaemia, and during the deception he shaved his head and eyebrows. She was warned about Webster’s past as police closed in on him.

Advocate depute Derek Ogg QC had said in his closing speech Webster was “a most cruel, practised deceiver” who, if convicted, would become one of the most notorious murderers of modern times. However, defence counsel Edgar Prais QC said that although Webster was a “liar”, a “thief”, a “philanderer” and a “rat bag”, he was not a killer.

Fifty days of prosecution evidence was followed by a short defence case, after which trial judge Lord Bannatyne told the jurors there was enough evidence in law for them to convict Webster.

BBC

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    {pant, pant} …cannivordayoffnow..?

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