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Andrew Griggs appears in court accused of murder of wife Debbie Griggs who disappeared in 1999

By KentOnline reporter

A husband accused of murdering his pregnant wife 20 years ago is out on bail after his current wife shelled out £70,000.

Debbie Griggs, 34, was four-and-a-half months pregnant when she disappeared from her home on May 5, 1999.

The mum-of-three, who was last seen at her home in Walmer, Kent, has never been found.

Debbie Griggs - missing for 20 years.
Debbie Griggs - missing for 20 years.

Her husband Andrew Griggs, who now lives in Dorset with his second wife, was charged with Debbie's murder on March 12 this year, almost 20 years after she went missing.

Griggs, 56, was due to enter his plea, expected to be not guilty, at the Old Bailey today while he and his counsel decide whether to apply to have the case dismissed.

They are awaiting all the Crown’s evidence to be served.

Griggs was granted bail, after a £70,000 surety was paid by his current wife. Under the conditions of his bail, Griggs must live at his home address in Dorset and is required to report to his local police station every morning.

He is also subject to an electronically tagged curfew between 6pm and 6am.

His lawyer, Syam Soni, said it was “likely” that Griggs would apply to have the case dismissed and was given until May 17 by the judge to arrange that.

He said: “It appears to me that such an application will be likely.”

If the application fails, he will enter his plea on that date.

Mr Soni also applied to have Griggs’ curfew moved from 11pm to 4am for his work because he runs a fishing business.

He said: “He is self-employed and has an active fishing business."

The police search after Mrs Griggs' disappearance.
The police search after Mrs Griggs' disappearance.

Judge Maura McGowan QC said: “It doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense to me that someone would be working at 4am until 11pm so I will vary it to 8pm until 4am.”

Addressing Griggs, the judge said: “The application that’s going to be made to do with your case will be made on May 17, you will remain on bail until then.

“All the current conditions stay the same except that I have varied your curfew so that it starts at 8pm in the evening and finishes at 4am in the morning.”

Wearing a blue shirt, black trousers and grey fleece, Griggs looked calm throughout the hearing.

If his application fails, he will either stand trial at Canterbury Crown Court, Woolwich Crown Court, or Maidstone Crown Court at the start of October.

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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