NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Malcolm Webster trial: Wife 'would have died happy'

Felicity Drumm and Malcolm Webster
Image caption Felicity Drumm said the car driven by Malcolm Webster crashed

The wife of a man accused of trying to kill her has claimed that when she confronted him he said: "You would have died happy".

Malcolm Webster, 51, of Surrey, denies crashing in New Zealand in 1999 in a bid to kill his second wife Felicity Drumm to claim the insurance money.

He also denies murdering his first wife in Aberdeenshire in 1994 after a crash.

Ms Drumm told the High Court in Glasgow: "I said it was quite clear his intention had been to kill me."

She said: "He said I would have died happy. I had never been happier. He had given me love, marriage and a child. In other words I should be grateful.

"I felt sick and I felt repulsed by him. I had intended to spend the rest of my life with him."

The court heard that when Ms Drumm examined papers belonging to Mr Webster she discovered he had insured her life for 1.9m New Zealand dollars.

Mr Webster, of Guildford, denies crashing his car in New Zealand in 1999 in an attempt to kill Ms Drumm and obtain insurance money by fraud.

He further denies murdering his first wife, 32-year-old Claire Morris. She died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger crashed and caught fire in 1994.

It is also alleged that he intended to bigamously marry Simone Banarjee, from Oban, Argyll, to gain access to her estate. It is claimed he told her he was terminally ill with leukaemia when he was actually in good health.

The jury heard that 12 February, 1999, was the final deadline for the Ms Drumm and Mr Webster to pay for a house in Auckland.

Ms Drumm, 50, told the court that, as they headed along the motorway towards her bank, Mr Webster kept saying there was something wrong with the steering of their Honda Accord.

She said that as they drove along the car suddenly swerved across two lanes and then back across.

She said: "I grabbed the steering wheel and turned it towards Malcolm."

Asked if the steering wheel worked, she replied: "Yes, the car responded."

She told the court that the car ended up in a ditch beside some trees.

Clutched chest

She said: "Malcolm got out the car straight away, got round to the back of the car and popped open the boot.

"He said nothing to me. I had undone my seat belt. I was working out how I could get out. I would have been going out into a ditch.

"He screamed at me I had to stay in the car. I was concerned there was more danger to me staying in the car. He repeatedly told me to get back in the car. I saw no point in staying."

Ms Drumm said that, despite the crash, she was still determined to get to the bank and phoned her lawyer who agreed to pick her up.

The court heard that Mr Webster then clutched his chest and said he was having a heart attack.

Ms Drumm said she went to hospital with him.

When she finally got to the bank she said that most of her savings, which had been in a joint account held with Mr Webster, had gone.

The trial, before judge Lord Bannatyne, continues.

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