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Clive Sharp pleads guilty to Catherine Gowing murder at Mold Crown Court

Clive Sharp

THE man accused of murdering Flintshire vet Catherine Gowing has pleaded guilty today (Monday).

Clive Sharp, 46, originally from Sealand on Deeside but who had an address Coed y Parc Industrial Estate in Bethesda in Gwynedd, was remanded in custody pending sentence by Mr Justice Griffith-Williams.

He will be sentenced on February 25.

Sharp, dressed in a grey top and trousers, said nothing during the eight minute hearing at Mold Crown Court, apart from confirming his name.

The judge said that he would not need pre-sentence or psychiatric reports and said that clearly there could only be one sentence, that of life imprisonment.

But the minimum term that he would have to serve was an important consideration upon which he needed time to reflect.

“There are a number of concerns about this case which lead me to the view that I should have time to reflect upon it,” he said.

The judge said that he appreciated that the delay would add to the upset and tension of the family and loved ones but he said that careful assessment would have to be made.

He asked for a complete factual picture of the defendant’s previous convictions and previous reports “where he expresses his fantasies”.

The judge told Sharp: “There is only one sentence I can pass on you for this offence, as you will know.

“I have to work out what the minimum term you will serve is before the Parole Board consider you for release – if you are ever to be released.”

Sharp, a former Deeside High School pupil, was charged with murder on October 19, a week after Miss Gowing, 37, was last seen alive at Asda Queensferry. Her murder is said to have taken place sometime between October 11 and October 17 in North Wales.

On October 18 her burnt-out car had been found abandoned in woodland off Pinfold Lane in Alltami, two miles from her home in Cae Isa, New Brighton.

Specialist search teams found body parts in a shallow pool off Manor Road in Sealand, known as the Lum, on October 31, and more remains were discovered on the banks of the River Dee three miles away at Higher Ferry two days later. It believed the rest of her remains have been dumped in the River Dee.

Miss Gowing, originally from County Offaly in the Republic of Ireland, had been living in Flintshire for about 18 months after qualifying from a university in Budapest, Hungary.

She worked at Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold.

Her sister Emma Gowing and brother in law Shay Maguire were in court to watch proceedings from the public gallery accompanied by a North Wales Police family liaison officer.