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Debbie Griggs murder trial: 'Out of character' for Deal mother to leave

A mother told of the final moment she saw her pregnant daughter - just hours before her reported murder.

Husband Andrew Griggs, 57, denies killing and dumping the body of mother-of-three Debbie Griggs after she disappeared from their Deal home on May 5, 1999.

Debbie Griggs went missing in 1999
Debbie Griggs went missing in 1999

Debbie, 34 at the time, was in high-spirits showing no sign of walking out on her family, a court heard.

Mum Patricia Cameron, now deceased, told police in a statement Debbie visited her home at about 3.15pm.

“She was happy, she did not say anything to cause me concern. I went out to the car with her.

“Debbie said something like: “‘Bye mum, I’ll see you.’ She was happy when she drove off.

“I have not heard from, or seen Debbie ever since.

Pat Cameron's police statement was read out in court. Picture: Gary Browne
Pat Cameron's police statement was read out in court. Picture: Gary Browne

“She is not depressed, she is a mother who cares for her children,”she told officers, days after the disappearance.

Her following statements revealed suspicions Griggs was seeing a 15-year-old girl and perceived inconsistencies in his recollection of events leading up to Debbie's disappearance.

Debbie’s body has never been found and Griggs, of St Leonard's, Dorset, denies murder.

Mrs Cameron died before the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the murder charge.

Griggs, the last person to see his wife alive and well, told officers she was "in the habit of going walkabouts" at the time of his arrest.

She would also become fed up caring for the children and left between 30-40 times prior, he said in police interview.

Andrew Griggs (18394936)
Andrew Griggs (18394936)

However Debbie’s father Brian Cameron referred to his daughter’s alleged absconding as “out of character”, asserting she would “stand her ground”.

The 81-year-old claimed the pair came to blows at their Freezer Centre business in South Street, which they co-owned, when Debbie requested money to feed the children.

Mr Duncan Atkinson QC asked: “How did her husband respond to her? As far as I know he grabbed hold of her and held her hands, and she bit him.

“He attempted to knee her in the tummy,” Mr Cameron replied.

“Before she went missing did Andrew ever say anything about going walkabouts?”

"No,” Mr Cameron replied.

“Would Debbie go anywhere after an argument?” asked Mr Atkinson QC.

“She would stand her ground, she wouldn’t be trodden on,” he replied.

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There has been no trace of the woman despite international search efforts and various media appeals meaning Griggs killed her, said Mr Atkinson QC.

He said their relationship "had been going through difficulties" when Debbie suspected Griggs was having a relationship with the 15-year-old girl, at the time she disappeared.

Both denied the relationship initially, however, a love note surfaced at the Deal Freezer Centre in May 2001, reportedly from the teenager, after Griggs sold the business.

Discovered by the new owners, it referenced intimate and sexual details, prompting the girl to admit to police she had been seeing Griggs.

The trial, expected to last five weeks, 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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