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Catherine Gowing murder: How North Wales Police traced Clive Sharp

POLICE gathered a huge amount of evidence showing Clive Sharp’s movements after he murdered Catherine Gowing – and the steps he took to cover his tracks.

At 6.45am on Saturday, October 13, CCTV footage at the Beaufort Park Hotel showed him moving her Vauxhall Corsa, which she used for work, into the car park.

At 11.22am, a partial message was sent using Miss Gowing’s phone, in what was thought to be ‘an attempt to suggest that she was still alive’. Between 1.50pm and 2.30pm, Sharp was in Queensferry.

“During this period, the defendant also made two attempts to use Miss Gowing’s bank card at a cashpoint on Station Road.

“This may have been a further attempt to suggest that Miss Gowing was still alive rather than an attempt to steal,” said Mr Thomas.

At 4.25pm Sharp was seen on CCTV at a petrol station in Mold, filling the can he had bought earlier.

Mr Thomas said: “This was used to set fire to the Renault Clio. At 5.20pm he is shown on CCTV at a council depot on Pinfold Lane in Alltami, parking his Volvo.”

Further down Pinfold Lane is the quarry where the Clio was later found burnt-out.

Sharp visited there at some point on the Saturday night, and is seen on CCTV returning to collect his own car in the early hours of Sunday.

Having set the Clio alight and collecting his own car, the defendant then headed east toward Sealand.

At 1.27am cameras picked up his Volvo travelling eastbound on the A550 Welsh Road beyond Garden City.

At some point he dismembered Miss Gowing’s body using the hacksaw and wrapped the body parts using plastic bags and tape.

After disposing of her body parts, Sharp spent the rest of the night sleeping in his car near Saughall, Chester.

Miss Gowing failed to turn up for dinner at her friend’s house at 7.30pm on Sunday, and was missing when Jane Doyle arrived home at about 11pm.

When she did not turn up for work on Monday, the police were notified.

For about 24 hours her disappearance was treated as a missing persons inquiry, but by the Tuesday evening the detectives formed the suspicion the defendant had killed Miss Gowing.

At every stage Sharp denied any involvement in her death and gave alibis for Friday night and Saturday.

But as evidence came to light which contradicted his version of events, his account repeatedly changed.

Miss Gowing’s burnt-out Clio was first spotted in the quarry on Pinfold Lane by a workman on the Monday morning.

In the vehicle were a bent hacksaw blade, a burnt suitcase and the charred remains of Miss Gowing’s laptop computer. Her mobile phone was also found in a pond nearby.