Man facing life in prison for murder of Offaly vet

A man is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Offaly vet Catherine Gowing in North Wales in October 2012.

A man is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Offaly vet Catherine Gowing in North Wales in October 2012.

Clive Sharp (46) appeared at Mold Crown Court on Monday at a brief hearing where he only spoke to confirm his name and to enter a guilty plea.

He faces an automatic life sentence but Mr Justice Griffith Williams is yet to determine the minimum term he must serve before he can be considered for release. However the judge intimated that in this case a life sentence could in fact mean life.

“There is only one sentence I can pass on you for this offence, as you will know. I have to work out what the minimum term you will serve is before the Parole Board consider you for release - if you are ever to be released.”

Catherine Gowing’s sister Emma and her brother in law Shay Maguire were in court for the proceedings. Emma paid an emotional and moving tribute to her sister when her remains were laid to rest in Kinnitty earlier this month.

Catherine was first reported missing on Monday, October 15 last year when she failed to turn up for work at the Veterinary Practice where she worked in Mold. She was last seen on CCTV entering a supermarket in nearby Queensferry.

Police mounted an extensive search and found Catherine’s car burnt out near a disused quarry and wooded area. Subsequently human remains, which were later identified as those of the missing vet, were found in a shallow pool in a field. Further remains were found on the banks of the River Dee.