Man charged with murder of missing Irish vet in Wales

Sat, Oct 20, 2012, 01:00

A MAN who was being questioned over the disappearance in Wales of Irish woman Catherine Gowing was last night charged in police custody with the 37-year-old’s murder.

The remains of the vet from Co Offaly have not been found, though a pool at a disused quarry was being searched last night.

Welsh police believe they have sufficient evidence to prove that she was murdered and believe they can link the accused man to the killing.

Clive Sharpe (46), Bethesda, Gwynedd, was due to appear this morning before Mold Magistrates’ Court, the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said last night. CPS spokeswoman Karen Dixon told a press conference in Wales that there was sufficient evidence to charge Mr Sharpe.

Police had earlier carried out a forensic examination of Ms Gowing’s five-door Dublin-registered Renault Clio car found burned out near her home on Thursday night. Her home had also been forensically examined.

Ms Gowing (37) was reported missing after she failed to arrive for work at the Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold, north Wales, on Monday morning.

Originally from Clonlee, Clareen, near Birr, she had studied veterinary medicine in Budapest, Hungary.

She had been living in Wales and working at the Clayton Road practice in Mold for about 18 months.

She was last seen leaving work last Friday between 7pm and 8pm.

Police later gathered evidence of another sighting of her at Asda in Queensferry at 8.06pm, just after she was last seen by her colleagues.

She left the shop at 8.39pm and there are no confirmed sightings of her since then.

Ms Gowing is believed to have driven to her home in Cae Isaf, New Brighton, in Flintshire, in a work-supplied Opel Corsa.

However, she failed to keep an engagement last weekend. A colleague received an incomplete phone message from her over the weekend, which gave rise to the first concerns for her safety.

When she did not turn up for work on Monday morning she was reported missing immediately and police began searching for her. From the outset, her disappearance was described as “totally out of character”.

Investigators were unable to locate her Irish-registered car and launched a public appeal for help in locating the vehicle.

It became apparent from the outset of the search for her that detectives believed she had met with foul play and had most likely been murdered.

Ms Gowing’s sister Emma, and her brother-in-law, Shay, travelled to Wales to try and assist the police in their investigation this week.

Emma Gowing in Wales on Thursday asked the public for help in tracking down her “beautiful sister”. Ms Gowing’s parents – John, a retired farmer in his 80s, and her mother, Maureen, a retired primary school teacher – have waited for news of their daughter at the family home in Co Offaly. They were described by sources locally as “heartbroken”.