Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Sex offender jailed over vet murder

Catherine Gowing's body has never been recovered

A serial sex offender with "perverted desires" has been jailed for life for the rape and murder of Irish vet Catherine Gowing.

Clive Sharp, 46, harboured fantasies of imprisoning and killing women to satisfy his sexual desires before the murder of his victim, Mold Crown Court heard.

Sharp left one woman tied to a bed after she refused his demands, then hours later killed his victim. He crept into the house of Miss Gowing in the night before tying her to the bed and repeatedly raping her. In a further "callous act" after killing his victim, he mutilated her by dismembering the body.

Sharp had twice been jailed for sex offences before he attacked Miss Gowing. The victim, described as a "vibrant, wonderful woman" had the "great misfortune" of being good friends with the killer's then-girlfriend.

Sharp admitted murder last month and has been jailed for life, with judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams ordering he serve a minimum 37 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.

"This is a horrific, cold-hearted murder, carried out to gratify your perverted sexual desires," the judge told Sharp. "The proper inference must be she was subjected to various forms of sexual abuse. The likelihood was she was gagged to prevent her call for help. You are, on any view, a very serious danger to women."

The victim's sister, Emma Gowing, told the court in a victim impact statement: "My sister was a vibrant, wonderful woman, who lived life fully, with love, compassion, fun, adventure and joy. Our lives will never be the same. That man has caused my family unimaginable pain, suffering and grief and the recurring nightmare of what he did to her before she died."

Earlier the court heard Miss Gowing had qualified as a vet and settled in North Wales with a friend, Jane Doyle, and they both lived in a house provided by the vet's practice where she worked in Mold. Sharp, who worked in a local factory, began a relationship with Miss Gowing's friend but kept his history secret.

Miss Gowing's right hand and foot were found by police divers in a pond near Sealand on October 31, near Sharp's family home and where he grew up. Two days later an off-duty police officer spotted an object in a waterway near Chester. It was Miss Gowing's torso, partially wrapped in plastic.

No cause of death could be established and not all the victim's remains have been recovered. The court heard evidence suggested he dismembered his victim's body outdoors before disposal.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz