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HUBBY CHARGED WITH CRASH WIFE'S MURDER; Arrest almost 15 years after fireball death.

Byline: By Charlie Gall

A HUSBAND has been charged with his wife's murder, nearly 15 years after her death was put down to a tragic road accident.

Malcolm Webster, 49, was arrested and charged after a long-running international investigation.

Staff nurse Claire Webster, 32, was killed in a fireball crash on a remote back road near Old meldrum, Aberdeenshire, in May 1994.

Their Daihatsu 4x4 had ploughed into a tree but Webster, also a nurse, claimed he managed to scramble clear of the wrecked vehicle before it burst into flames.

The couple, who had been married less than a year, lived in the area at the time and police investigators concluded the crash had been an accident.

Webster later moved to Dubai and met second wife Felicity Drumm. They married in 1998 and later moved to New Zealand.

Yesterday, Grampian Police confirmed Webster had been charged in connection with the attempted murder of a second woman.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Chapman, who led the re-investigation into Claire's death, yesterday said: "A 49-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Claire Webster, a 32-year-old woman, in May 1994.

"The man has also been charged in connection with events in the UK and New Zealand leading to the attempted murder of another woman."

A report was sent to the procurator fiscal and the man is due to appear today at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The Grampian force were asked to reopen their investigation into Claire's death last March, following police inquiries in New Zealand.

They worked closely with their counterparts in that country before deciding to arrest and charge Webster, who is originally from England.

The son of a former police detective chief superintendent, he had moved back to the UK and was believed to be living in the south of England when he was tracked down by cops.

He maintains that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

Both his parents are dead, as are Claire's.

Her surviving relatives issued a plea for privacy through the police.

CAPTION(S):

TRAGIC: Claire Webster
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2009
Words:344
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