Man pleads guilty to Catherine Gowing murder

Clive Sharp has today pleaded guilty to the murder of Irish vet Catherine Gowing.

Ms Gowing’s body has never been fully recovered, although remains were found at two rural locations near her home in Flintshire, north Wales, and near Chester.

Sharp (aged 46) of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to her murder at Mold Crown Court today.

Flanked by two prison officers, Sharp, unshaven and wearing a grey pullover and grey jogging bottoms, sat in the dock with his head down for most of the brief hearing.

Yards away, the victim’s sister, Emma Maguire, sat listening intently as the hearing continued.

Sharp is understood to have been friends with a woman who shared a house with Ms Gowing, though no evidence was given in court today.

After pleading guilty to the murder of Ms Gowing, sometime between October 11 and October 17 last year, Sharp was warned he faces life in jail.

But Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said he would not sentence Sharp immediately as he has to determine the minimum term he must serve before he can be considered for release.

He also said there were a “number of concerns” about the murder that he needed to consider before setting a minimum term of imprisonment.

The court heard in a report on the defendant that Sharp had “expressed his fantasies” and the judge asked for a complete history of his criminal record to be prepared.

Adjourning sentencing until next month, the judge told Sharp: “There is only one sentence I can impose upon you for this offence, as you well know.

“I have to indicate the minimum term you will serve before the Parole Board will consider your release – if you are ever to be released.

“Sentencing is adjourned until Monday the 25th of February. You can be taken down.”

Catherine Gowing’s family left court without commenting.

Catherine, originally from Clonlee in Co Offaly, was last seen alive in Flintshire in north Wales last October.

Some of her remains were found at two sites near her home in New Brighton.

Catherine's remains were laid to rest on January 3.

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