Malcolm Webster guilty of killing first wife and attempted murder of his second

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MALCOLM Webster was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow today of murdering his first wife and attempting to murder his second in a bid to get life insurance money.

• Malcolm Webster: a 'cruel, practised deceiver'

Webster, 52, had denied murdering Morris in an Aberdeenshire crash in 1994 for a 200,000 life insurance payout.

He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of his second wife Felicity Drumm in New Zealand in a similar plot in 1999.

The crash in 1994 came just eight months after Webster had married Mrs Morris and was originally treated as a tragic accident.

Webster, from Guildford in Surrey, drugged her, driving the car off the road and starting a fire while she was unconscious in the vehicle.

It was only fourteen years later in 2008 that police announced they were re-examining the death of Mrs Morris.

The investigation then moved to New Zealand, where Webster, a qualified nurse, was involved with a crash which his second wife surivived. It was later found that she had a strong sedative in her system.

Again, the motive was insurance fraud - this time the sum was estimated at 750,000.

In February 2009 Webster appeared in Aberdeen Sheriff Court charged with murdering his wife in 1994, as part of a life insurance fraud.

The murder trial began at the High Court in Glasgow on 1 February this year, making it the longest criminal trial with a single accused in Scottish legal history.

The jury took less than four hours to convict Webster.

The brother of Mrs Morris, Peter Morris, called Webster a "monster".

Mr Morris said: "Hopefully now Claire can rest in peace. I feel that she hasn't been able to do that until now."

He said of Webster: "He's a monster. If the police hadn't caught him the killing would have gone on."

Webster claimed his first wife's death was a tragic accident and denied the charges against him, but the jury of nine women and six men found him unanimously guilty of the murder.

He was described in court as a "cruel, practised deceiver".

• For full coverage of the investigation and trial of Malcolm Webster, read The Scotsman tomorrow