Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Taxi driver guilty of killing missing mother-of-five

Ben Lacomba has been found guilty of killing his ex-partner Sarah Wellgreen.

Sarah Wellgreen (Kent Police/PA)
Sarah Wellgreen (Kent Police/PA)

By Luke Powell and Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent

The family of missing mother-of-five Sarah Wellgreen have said they are “pleased justice has been served” after her former lover was found guilty of her murder.

The 46-year-old beautician had been living a “happy life with much to look forward to” but disappeared without a trace in October 2018.

Despite extensive searches across a huge area, her body has never been found.

On Monday, her ex-partner Ben Lacomba was convicted of murder despite his attempts to evade justice.

The 39-year-old, who stood in the dock wearing a dark suit, shirt and dark blue tie, showed no emotion as the guilty verdict was read out.

It took the jury three-and-a-half hours to reach its verdict.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Wellgreen’s son Jack Burdett, 22, said: “Thanks to all members of the court, including the jury members, also to the excellent team at Kent Police for all their hard work.

“We would also like to thank all the community searchers for their efforts to find out mum.

“The family are pleased and happy with the result today. Justice has been served.”

The pair had split up in 2014 but still lived together at their home in New Ash Green, Kent, at the time of her disappearance.

Lacomba’s trial at Woolwich Crown Court heard that he killed Ms Wellgreen in a “calculated manner designed to avoid detection, to leave no trace” and to “remove her from his life forever”.

The couple met online in 2004 but by the time of her disappearance their relationship was marked by “tensions and problems”, the court heard.

They had split up but were still living under the same roof and it “appears that potential loss of that family home, that property, and his children motivated his actions”, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told the jury.

Taxi driver Lacomba said he was asleep in bed on the night of the alleged killing.

The prosecution alleged that he switched off a CCTV system in the middle of the night and parked his car in an unusual spot in order to evade detection.

Giving evidence during the trial, Lacomba said it was “unusual and weird” when he woke up one morning to find she was not at home.

Lacomba is due to be sentenced at 10.15am on November 8 at Woolwich Crown Court.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph