NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Malcolm Webster: Victim's family make grave plea

Claire Morris gravestone
Image caption Relatives of Claire Morris want her married name removed from the headstone

The family of murderer Malcolm Webster's first wife have asked him to hand over her grave.

Claire Morris' brother Peter wants to replace her headstone in Aberdeenshire, which still bears her married name and refers to a "dear wife".

Webster was found guilty last month of murdering the 32-year-old in a staged car crash in 1994.

Mr Morris asked Webster, through his solicitor, to hand over the lair - but the request was rejected.

Aberdeenshire Council had earlier confirmed that changes to the gravestone, at Tarves, needed the authority of the owner.

Mr Morris initially said there was no way he would ask Webster, of Guildford, Surrey, to hand over the lair and appealed to the council to step in.

But now, with the backing of several politicians, Mr Morris plans to use human rights laws to force the killer's hand.

He said he had made the request to Webster so that all avenues had been explored first.

If the human rights option is unsuccessful, Mr Morris wants to exhume his sister's body and take it back to their family home in Kent.

He told BBC Scotland: "I swallowed my pride and my dignity, so I did make contact with Malcolm Webster's solicitor, who informed me that Malcolm Webster still claims that he is innocent and that he does not wish to give up Claire's grave."

Webster was found guilty of murder after a long-running trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Image caption A jury ruled Claire Morris was murdered by Malcolm Webster

He was also convicted of trying to murder his second wife in New Zealand in 1999.

He was also found guilty of intending to bigamously marry another woman, Simone Banarjee, from Oban, Argyll, to gain access to her estate, while pretending he had leukaemia.

The 52-year-old, who denied the charges, is due to be sentenced on 5 July.

Police are also investigating concerns over the deaths of three children at a hospital in Abu Dhabi where Webster worked in the 1980s.

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