Clive Sharp, 46, of Bethesda, Gwynedd sentenced to life at Mold Crown Court for rape and murder of vet Catherine Gowing.

The man who raped and murdered Irish vet Catherine Gowing will serve a minimum of 37 years in prison.

Catherine Gowing.Clive Sharp, 46, of Bethesda, Gwynedd, admitted killing Miss Gowing, 37, and was sentenced to life at Mold Crown Court in Flintshire on Monday (February 25).

The judge, Mr Justice Griffith-Williams, told Sharp: “You are on any view a very serious danger to women.”

Miss Gowing, who was from the Irish Republic, settled in Wales after qualifying as a vet and lived with a friend, Jane Doyle, near Mold. The pair both worked for mixed animal practice DE Evans.

Sharp, who had previous convictions for rape, had been in a relationship with Doyle and on October 12, he went to Miss Gowing’s house where she was home alone as Miss Doyle was in Ireland visiting family.

Sharp bound Miss Gowing before raping and killing her. The next day he bought bin bags, a petrol can and a hacksaw and blades, which he used to dismember the body before setting fire to Miss Gowing’s car to hide evidence.
Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said: “This was a sexually-motivated murder in which the defendant entered the house in the middle of the night, tied Miss Gowing up and raped her.

“He killed her then mutilated her body by cutting it into pieces and disposing of it in and near to the River Dee. He also disposed of evidence, for example by setting fire to Miss Gowing’s car in a quarry.”

Mr Justice Griffith-Williams told Sharp that he would have imposed a minimum term of 42 years but for the fact that he had pleaded guilty.

But he stressed that the 37-year tariff was a minimum term, saying Sharp would only be released when he was no longer considered a danger to women, which “may never be so”.

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