Rapist Clive Sharp has been jailed for life today after he earlier admitted murdering vet Catherine Gowing.
The Judge, Mr Justice Griffith-Williams, described the killing as” a horrific and cold hearted murder” carried out to satisfied his perverted sexual desires and ruled that he should serve a minimum of 37 years.
Sharp, who sat with his head bowed for most of the hour long hearing, had previously spoken of his fantasy to tie up, rape and then murder a woman.
The judge said he would have imposed a minimum term of 42 years but for the fast he had pleaded guilty.
But he stressed it was a minimum term, he said Sharp would only be released when he was no longer considered a danger to women, and he added “that may never be so.”
The court heard how he had previous convictions against women including rape.
The victim’s sister Emma Gowing sat just feet away from Sharp, who sat in a secure dock surrounded by three custody officers, as the hushed court heard the horrific details of what happened. She stared at him throughout the hearing.
The court heard how Sharp earlier that night left a Gwynedd woman tied to a bed – and he drove over to Mold.
He entered Miss Gowing’s home late at night at New Brighton near Mold.
Prosecuting barrister Andrew Thomas QC told how she had clearly been tied to the bed with material taken from the factory where Sharp work.
She was raped and sexually abused, he killed her and used her own car to take the body away – dismembering her somewhere out in the open.
An underwater search team found her right hand and foot in a pond at Sealand Manor, close to the house where he had been brought up.
Later an off duty police officer saw a torso in a plastic bag in the River Dee at Saltney Ferry – and forensic testing revealed Sharp’s DNA upon it .
The judge said he was on any view “a very serious danger to women”.
What happened during the four hour period he was in her house was only known to Sharp, the judge said.
“But this much is certain. Having somehow entered the house you must have overpowered her and tied her to the bed, using material taken from the factory where you worked – taken by you so that you could act out one of your fantasies.”
He had raped her more than once – the likelihood was that she had been gagged to prevent her calling out for help.
Sharp then set about disposing of the body and set a false trail initially by using mobile phone and cash card, to try and show that she was still alive.
He bought bleach, a heavy duty hacksaw and blades, bags and tapes, and a can of petrol to set her car on fire.
The following day he spent time with family who described him as happy and chatty, his normal self.
There had been a high degree of planning and premeditation, the judge said.
He entered her house without invitation when his partner at the time – Miss Gowing’s work colleague and house partner – was away in Ireland.
Sharp held her prisoner for a significant period of time and subjected her to rape and sexual abuse.
He then dismembered and disposed of her body in an attempt to conceal his crime, which the judge described as a callous act “which added immeasurably to the grief of her family.”
The only mitigation was his guilty plea which the judge said did not amount to an expression of remorse but was motivated by self interest.
But it had spared his victim’s elderly parents and sister the anxiety of a trial.
The defendant, originally from Sealand on Deeside but who had an address Coed y Parc Industrial Estate in Bethesda in Gwynedd, was taken from the dock and Miss Gowing’s sister and family, supported by police family liaison officers, watched intently.
Miss Gowing, 37, originally from County Offaly in the Republic of Ireland but who lived with a work colleague at the village of New Brighton near Mold, worked at a local veterinary centre in Mold.
Her murder is said to have taken place sometime between October 11 and October 17 in North Wales.
Elwen Evans QC, defending, said she would not mitigate when the judge indicated the minimum term he had in mind.