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Debbie Griggs murder trial: Accused Andrew Griggs denies asking wife to have abortion

A man accused of murdering his pregnant wife 20 years ago in Deal has denied asking her to have an abortion.

Andrew Griggs, 57, said he believed the baby might not be his, but he had not asked wife Debbie to terminate the pregnancy.

Andrew Griggs
Andrew Griggs

But Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, said Debbie had told her doctor her husband had wanted her to have an abortion.

“You did not want this child any more then than you wanted her,” Mr Atkinson said.

“Was the fact that she was pregnant just another reason why you wanted rid of her?” Griggs replied: “No, it was not.”

Griggs has denied murdering his wife 20 years ago. Her body has never been found.

He told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court that he had set up a bank account for his business in his sole name after his wife had taken the business cheque books which had to be signed by them both.

Debbie Griggs as a nurse
Debbie Griggs as a nurse

This made it hard for bills to be paid, but cross examined by Mr Atkinson Griggs admitted that he had asked the bank to set up this new account before his wife had taken the cheque books.

Asked to explain this Griggs said he couldn’t.

Mr Atkinson said: “The fact is this was you cutting Debbie out. There were blank cheques in the books already signed by Debbie.”

Griggs said he wasn’t trying to cut his wife out of the business and denied asking her to sell her part of the business to his father.

Griggs said he had started divorce proceedings which he put on hold when he and his wife reconciled.

Pregnant Debbie Griggs was described as being a doting mother to sons Jeremy, Jake and baby Luke
Pregnant Debbie Griggs was described as being a doting mother to sons Jeremy, Jake and baby Luke

“We were making a go of it again and it was going all right,” Griggs said.

“I had no thoughts of leaving Debbie.”

Asked by Mr Atkinson about the new account Griggs said he was not interested in the money side of the business.

Read more from the trial:

Mr Atkinson said: “You had every interest in the money side of it as you were cutting Debbie out. Between starting divorce proceedings and putting them on hold her solicitor had asked you for a full appraisal of the business income.”

Griggs admitted that he knew his wife would get half of the business and their house if they divorced.

“You couldn’t afford to divorce her,” Mr Atkinson said. “She was going to take half of what you owned. That made you very angry didn’t it?”

Griggs said it hadn’t made him angry.

The father-of-three has also denied burying her body.

Police searching for clues after the disappearance of Debbie Griggs in Deal
Police searching for clues after the disappearance of Debbie Griggs in Deal

A neighbour told police that she’d had a conversation with Griggs after his wife went missing.

She said he had told her there was no time for someone to drive from the home he shared with Debbie in Cross Road, Walmer, dig a hole near The Shrubbery - where her car was found abandoned -, bury the body and walk back to the house.

“I was back at 5am, I mean I was in at 5am,” the neighbour said Griggs had told her.

Mr Atkinson, told Griggs: “It’s almost as if you did it.

“It’s been a long time coming Mr Griggs, but where did you bury your wife’s body?”

The trial is being heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The trial is being heard at Canterbury Crown Court

“I did not bury my wife,” Griggs replied.

“Or, out at sea, perhaps,” Mr Atkinson said.

Griggs replied: “No,”

Mr Atkinson said one neighbour had seen a car reversing from the couple’s drive at 2am and another neighbour had seen Debbie’s car coming out at 4am, leaving the door to the garage, where Mrs Griggs always parked her car, open. In the morning the garage door was closed.

“Who came back and shut the garage door,” Mr Atkinson asked Griggs. “I can’t say,” he said.

“I did not bury my wife..." - Griggs

Mr Atkinson asked Griggs how his wife’s blood got in her car.

“I have no idea,” he said.

Pressed by Mr Atkinson Griggs said Debbie may have cut herself on a broken glass bottle on the drive.

“Have you just made this up,” Mr Atkinson asked. “You have never mentioned this before.”

He asked Griggs why his black jeans were put into a light coloured wash on the day his wife disappeared.

“I don’t really know anything about washing,” Griggs replied.

Mr Atkinson said: “What were you worried about with those jeans,” and Griggs said he was worried about nothing.

Mr Atkinson asked Griggs why he had told various people, including the police, that his wife walked out at 9pm, 10pm, 11pm and in the early hours, had taken lots of money and no money, had taken clothes and had left with just a handbag.

“You were making it all up,” Mr Atkinson said and Griggs said he wasn’t.

Another witness told police she had seen two peculiar, sore and fresh-looking marks on Griggs’ neck, near his chin, two days after his wife went missing. He said they were ingrowing hairs and nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.

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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