Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Black Widower Malcolm Webster to appeal sentence

Morris married second wife Felicity Drumm, a Kiwi, in 1997.
Morris married second wife Felicity Drumm, a Kiwi, in 1997.

Wife killer Malcolm Webster is set to launch an appeal against the length of his sentence.

Webster, 54, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years for murdering his first wife Claire Morris in a faked car accident in 1994.

He was also convicted of trying to kill his second wife, Aucklander Felicity Drumm, in a similarly staged car crash in New Zealand five years later.

Webster, a former nurse from Surrey in England, stood to become a millionaire thanks to the life insurance payouts from his first wife's death.

It was only when Drumm survived her crash and Webster disappeared with her life savings that prosecutors re-examined the earlier death.

Webster, who has always maintained his innocence, lost an appeal against his conviction in December.

Judges at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh rejected a claim that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Now, three judges will consider an appeal against the length of Webster's sentence at the Court of Appeal on March 14, The Herald newspaper in Glasgow reports.

A 2011 trial heard how Webster drugged his first wife Ms Morris, 32, just eight months after their marriage and drove his car off the road with the unconscious woman inside.

He then torched the vehicle and covered his tracks before collecting the life insurance payout and moving to New Zealand.

The jury then heard Webster married Ms Drumm before attempting a similar deadly scam in 1999 near Auckland by drugging her and planning to kill her in another staged smash.

On his return to Scotland, he tried to con another woman into a bigamous marriage, and even getting her to change her will to leave him everything, including her house and a luxury yacht.

- APNZ

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