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Catherine Gowing murder: The prosecution case against Clive Sharp

CLIVE Sharp knew Catherine Gowing was alone and decided to rape and murder her after an argument with a lover, Mold Crown Court heard.

Sharp was in a relationship with Miss Gowing’s housemate Jane Doyle, but had been having sex with another woman in Gwynedd on the night of Friday, October 12.

And when the woman refused one of Sharp’s perverted requests he stormed out – leaving her tied naked to the bed – and drove to New Brighton.

Miss Gowing and Miss Doyle, both originally from Ireland, met while training as vets.

Miss Doyle had been seeing Sharp since June, but Miss Gowing – who was single – did not like him and said he made her ‘uncomfortable’.

Sharp initially denied any involvement with Miss Gowing’s disappearance, but eventually entered a guilty plea last month after evidence against him piled up.

Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said: “On Friday, October 12, Jane Doyle flew back to Ireland to spend the weekend with her family. The defendant knew she was going away and that she would not be back until the Sunday night.”

On October 12 Miss Gowing finished work at 8pm and was last seen alive leaving Asda Queensferry at 8.39pm on her way home.

North Wales Police traced Sharp’s black Volvo after it left the other woman’s Gwynedd home at about 9.45pm. He arrived in the Mold area at about 11.15pm.

He was seen on CCTV at about 12.30am on the Saturday parking his car at Beaufort Park Hotel, before going to Miss Gowing’s home on foot.

“At that stage he may simply have been watching the house,” said Mr Thomas.

Sharp then went back to his car for about 90 minutes before returning to Cae Isa at around 2.50am.

“It is likely this is when the attack began. Precisely what happened inside the house is unknown,” Mr Thomas told the court.

“There was no evidence of a forced entry to the house.”

When Miss Doyle returned home late on the Sunday night it appeared the house ‘had been abandoned in a hurry’.

The front door had been left unlocked, Miss Gowing’s handbag, mobile phone and laptop were missing and the house appeared to have been cleaned.

A detailed forensic examination of Miss Gowing’s bedroom found DNA which matched Sharp’s, and a loop of fabric found tied to the leg of the bed matched material used in the factory where Sharp worked.

When Miss Gowing’s body parts were recovered, there were further DNA matches.

Mr Thomas said: “It is clear that during the course of the incident the defendant had tied Miss Gowing up and raped her.”

But he told the court it was ‘impossible’ to say how or at what stage Miss Gowing died.