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

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