Kent

Sarah Wellgreen case: Murder accused says shovel was gift for his mum

Ben Lacomba Image copyright JIM BENNETT
Image caption Ben Lacomba admitted that much of the evidence did not look good for him

A man accused of killing his ex-partner and disposing of her body has told a jury that a shovel found at the home they shared was a gift for his mother.

Ben Lacomba, who denies murdering Sarah Wellgreen, 46, at their home in New Ash Green in Kent last October, said he "had never dug a grave in his life".

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told him it was "complete nonsense" he had bought a "gravedigger's shovel" as a gift.

She demanded Mr Lacomba, 39, reveal the location of Ms Wellgreen's body.

'Where is the grave?'

Ms Morgan asked the defendant: "Did you dig Sarah's grave before the 9th/10th of October?" He replied: "I did not."

She asked him: "Where is it? Where is the grave?"

Woolwich Crown Court heard that a grave would have taken 90 minutes to dig and taxi driver Mr Lacomba had been out of range of CCTV for two hours at the relevant time.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The mother of five disappeared last October

Mr Lacomba, of Bazes Shaw, said he accepted that a lot of what had been said and shown to the court did not look good for him.

"I'm letting the jury and everyone in this court know that I did not kill the mother of my children, Sarah Wellgreen," he said.

The jury was shown the shovel - which is 1.66m (5ft 5in) long and was found in a shed in the defendant's back garden - and Mr Lacomba was handed it in the witness box and asked to "feel the weight".

He explained that the shovel was a Christmas present for his mother so she could dig his front garden - the trial has heard there was only artificial grass in the defendant's back garden.

But Ms Morgan told him: "You don't have any sensible explanation for why you would have a shovel of this size."

The trial continues.

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