Accused wife killer was ‘a strange one’

A British man on trial in Scotland for the murder of his Scottish wife and the attempted murder of his New Zealand wife was “strange”, the mother of his first wife says.

Malcolm John Webster, 51, is accused of killing his first wife, Claire Morris, by drugging her and staging a car crash in 1994 and attempting to murder his second wife, Aucklander Felicity Drumm, in fraudulent schemes to gain hundreds of thousands of pounds in life insurance payments.

Webster has denied murdering Ms Morris in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1994 and attempting to murder Ms Drumm in various locations, including New Zealand, Aberdeenshire and the Gulf States during the late 1990s.

He is accused of attempting to kill Ms Drumm in Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore in 1999 by drugging her and driving into a power pole.

Doctors treating her injuries found she had been given a strong sedative.

Webster was alleged to have killed Ms Morris similar means, drugging her and putting her in a car which he then drove off the road and torched as she lay unconscious inside.

Ms Morris’s elderly mother, Betty, told the High Court at Glasgow in a written statement this week Webster called her “stupid” the first time they met, the Scottish Sun reported.

“I didn’t like Malcolm right from the start. He wasn’t the sort of person I’d have married,” 85-year-old Mrs Morris said.

“He was strange. You don’t call your girlfriend’s mother stupid when you’ve just met her.”

Ms Morris told her mother she had been in a car crash with Webster a month before she died, Mrs Morris’s statement said.

“This one didn’t result in any injuries but it was a nasty one as the car rolled. She said a bush had stopped the car going down the hill. Claire said Malcolm was very tired.”

Mrs Morris was preparing for a family wedding when police arrived to tell them her daughter had been killed in a subsequent crash.

The trial continues.

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