NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Woman 'slept with Malcolm Webster on anniversary'

Claire Morris
Image caption Claire Morris was allegedly murdered by her husband in 1994

A woman has told a murder trial that she slept with the accused on his first wedding anniversary, months after the death of his wife in 1994.

Geraldine Oakley said as her relationship with Malcolm Webster developed she began to suspect he may have killed his wife, Claire Morris.

Mr Webster denies murdering Ms Morris by intentionally crashing their car in Aberdeenshire and setting it on fire.

He also denies fraudulently obtaining insurance policies after his wife died.

Ms Oakley told the High Court in Glasgow she first met Mr Webster, from Guildford in Surrey, in 1993 or 1994, when she was a computer manager at NHS Grampian.

The jury was told they were friends prior to Ms Morris's death in the crash on Kingoodie's Auchenhuive to Tarves Road.

Ms Oakley was on holiday when it happened and said the first she became aware of it when she met Mr Webster, who was wearing a medical collar round his neck.

She said: "He put his hands over mine and said there had been an accident and Claire had died. I told him to call me if he needed to talk."

The court heard the pair went out for coffee and Mr Webster invited Ms Oakley to his home near Oldmeldrum.

Image caption Malcolm Webster denies all the charges against him

Prosecutor Derek Ogg QC asked Ms Oakley: "Did it seem there was a relationship in the offing?" She replied: "Malcolm seemed keen to progress the relationship."

She told the court that on 3 September, 1994 - the anniversary of his wedding to Ms Morris - Mr Webster phoned her saying he did not want to be alone, and she invited him to her home near Cruden Bay.

Ms Oakley said: "He [Malcolm Webster] was entertaining. He made a joke and we ended up kissing."

She added: "He ended up staying the night with me in my room."

The 50-year-old said she became worried when Mr Webster began to question her about whether a second autopsy was to be carried out on Ms Morris.

In a statement to police, she said: "Malcolm was obsessed by this at the time and I considered speaking to consultant pathologist Dr James Grieve, but I never did."

Mr Ogg asked: "What was your conversation going to be about?" Ms Oakley said: "I thought that Malcolm might have killed his wife."

The court heard their sexual relationship was kept secret.

Ms Oakley will be cross-examined by defence QC Edgar Prais on Monday as the trial is not sitting on Friday.

'Crash staged'

The court also heard from crash reconstruction expert Stephen Jowitt, who had previously said he believed it was "highly likely" the crash was staged.

He was asked by Mr Prais: "You were working from photographs and witnesses statements?"

Mr Jowitt replied: "Yes. My conclusions stand and fall by these."

Mr Prais then put it to Mr Jowitt that few people were able to give accurate indications of either time or distance and he agreed with this.

Mr Webster also denies trying to kill his second wife Felicity Drumm in New Zealand in 1999, to cash in on their life insurance

He is also alleged to have formed a fraudulent scheme between 2004 and 2008 to enter into a bigamous marriage with Simone Banerjee to get access to her estate in Oban, which he denies.

The trial, before judge Lord Bannatyne, continues on Monday.

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