Kent

Sarah Wellgreen murder: Taxi driver mocked over 'horrible' new shoes

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

The colleagues of a taxi driver accused of murdering his former partner had laughed at a "horrible" pair of shoes he had worn to the office hours after he is said to have killed her.

Ben Lacomba is charged with murdering Sarah Wellgreen, who has not been since 9 October last year.

Mr Lacomba, 39, of Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green, said he had lost the shoes he usually wore for work.

He denies murder in a trial being heard at Woolwich Crown Court.

The prosecution says Mr Lacomba killed her in the house they still shared, despite being separated, then drove her body away in his taxi in the early hours of 10 October and hid it.

Image copyright JIM BENNETT
Image caption Ben Lacomba told his boss he felt he was "clearly" a suspect, jurors heard

The jury was shown CCTV from the All Night Cars office in Dartford from 10:30 GMT on 10 October.

Mr Lacomba was seen walking into the office and a female voice asked: "Where on earth did you get those shoes?"

The defendant told her they were from River Island and "I lost my brown ones".

His colleague asked: "How can you lose a pair of shoes?"

'Horrible pointy shoes'

He replied: "I don't know. You tell me." He added that "the kids might have moved them".

In a statement to police read to the court Charlie Carter, who worked at All Night Cars, said: "I remember Ben was wearing a pair of battleship grey, horrible pointy shoes.

"They looked quite comical as they didn't match what he was dressed in."

He added they looked unworn and everyone had teased him about them. He usually wore trainers or brown Chelsea boots.

Nicolas Morris, owner of All Night Cars, met Ben Lacomba in a cafe in Dartford on 16 October, the day after police had visited the taxi office.

He said in his police statement: "I said to Ben, 'they clearly think it's you', and Ben said, 'yeah they clearly do'.

"He was quite tense when we were talking. He had a panicky look on his face but looked like he was trying to keep calm."

The case continues.

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