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Debbie Griggs murder trial: Call made 24 hours after disappearance from Deal played to court

The 999 call a fisherman accused of murdering his pregnant wife made to police to report her missing has been played to a court, 20 years later.

Andrew Griggs phoned Kent Police almost 24 hours after Debbie Griggs disappeared from their home in Cross Road, Deal in May 1999.

The-57-year-old is accused of killing the mother-of-three, then aged 34, and dumping her body.

Debbie's body has never been found, her bank account and medical records remain dormant.

Calling to file a missing person report, he calmly told an operator: “She’s suffering from depression, um, postnatal depression, um, we’ve got three little boys and she’s just wound up too much.”

“She is pregnant as well, she’s been under the doctor for depression, um, for a while.

“She was on medication but I don’t know whether she is now.”

Debbie Griggs on her 21st birthday
Debbie Griggs on her 21st birthday

Asked if Debbie had been missing before he said: “Yes, only reported to friends and family.

Griggs added he’d been the victim of domestic abuse two or three months before, saying: “She locked me out, you know, I’d come home from work, got a load of verbal abuse and walked out.”

The court heard medical evidence that Debbie had been treated for postnatal depression years before, but not at the time she vanished.

Duncan Atkinson QC told jurors Griggs phoned Debbie’s GP at Queens Street Surgery in Deal the next day, reporting her missing and inquiring about her mental health.

Doctor Steven Williams replied: “She was not depressed to my knowledge,” jurors were told.

Debbie Griggs on the day she married husband Andrew, who is being tried for murder
Debbie Griggs on the day she married husband Andrew, who is being tried for murder

Griggs told the operator Debbie had taken £250 and her white Peugeot but couldn’t recall the number plate.

Yet when officers attended Griggs’ home the same night he was prompted to present paperwork on the vehicle but claimed he didn’t have a recent photograph of his missing partner.

PC Reid, one of the officers who attended his address, noted Griggs was calm.

“When we asked why it was so late that he reported it to us he said his wife had gone missing on previous occasions and returned unharmed,” he told the court in a statement.

Griggs is accused of killing the mum-of-three 20 years ago.

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Her car - a white Peugeot 309 - was found abandoned 1.3 miles away days after her disappearance.

Traces of her blood were discovered inside the boot of the vehicle, where the carpet had been removed according to police.

Prosecutors allege the pair's relationship had become strained, sometimes violent, after Debbie suspected Griggs’ alleged affair with a 15-year-old-girl.

The girl, now in her mid-30s, told Canterbury Crown Court Griggs "groomed" her, during a previous hearing.

Griggs of St Leonards, Dorset, denies murder and the relationship - his defence is yet to be heard.

The trial continues.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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