Kent

Missing Sarah Wellgreen 'was happy', murder trial told

Sarah Jane Wellgreen Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Sarah Wellgreen would never have left her children, jurors heard

A mother of five who went missing and whose body was never found was happy and making plans when she disappeared, Woolwich Crown Court has heard.

Sarah Wellgreen would also never have abandoned her children, her close friend Maria Santos-Borges said in a statement read to jurors.

Ben Lacomba, 39, of Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green, Kent, denies murdering his ex-partner on 9 October 2018.

It is exactly a year since 46-year-old Ms Wellgreen went missing.

In the statement, Ms Santos-Borges said Ms Wellgreen had been at her house, which was also in New Ash Green, hours before she disappeared.

She said Ms Wellgreen had told her about the new job she had been offered the day before and had also revealed she had a mortgage to buy Mr Lacomba out of the home they shared, despite them having been separated for several years.

'Very caring mother'

Ms Santos-Borges said Ms Wellgreen and her children planned to spend Christmas with her in Majorca and had arranged to visit her friend again on 11 October 2018 to book flights.

She told police: "In my opinion she would never abandon her children. They were her priority. She was a very caring mother and dedicated to her children.

"She told me she was very happy to find a job with a fixed salary so she could look after the children."

The court heard Ms Wellgreen had also told her friend about her plans to buy the house, decorate it and make improvements.

The women had been looking at tile and carpet shops, the court was told.

But Ms Santos-Borges said Ms Wellgreen did not visit on 11 October as planned.

She said as well as booking flights, the two friends had planned to go to Bluewater shopping centre for a birthday celebration.

The trial continues.

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