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Sarah Wellgreen murder trial: Accused left house on night missing mum vanished, court hears

The man accused of murdering missing mum-of-five Sarah Wellgreen left his home the night she disappeared, a witness has told a jury.

Cab driver Ben Lacomba, 39, denies killing the mother of three of his children who he lived with in Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green — despite splitting up four years before her disappearance last October.

Missing Sarah Wellgreen
Missing Sarah Wellgreen

He told police he stayed in bed on the night of October 9 to October 10.

Prosecutors say otherwise and having presented evidence that his car was seen driving through country lanes away from the village in the early hours of October 10, they have now put forward evidence from an occupant of the house.

In an interview shown on video in the court the witness said they had last seen Sarah, then 46, the evening before she disappeared, and that Sarah had been in a good mood, sending text messages on her phone.

Later on the witness woke in the night.

They said: “I checked in Sarah’s room and she wasn’t there and her bed was wet.

Ben Lacomba. Picture: Jim Bennett
Ben Lacomba. Picture: Jim Bennett

“The top of the bed was wet. I felt it.

“It hasn’t been wet before. It was water.”

The witness said Lacomba was out driving his taxi at the time and that they had gone downstairs to watch TV.

Then Lacomba had come home and they had gone to bed.

The witness said Lacomba had also said they didn’t need to worry about Sarah because the police were finding her.

Lewis Burdett with mum Sarah
Lewis Burdett with mum Sarah

Earlier today Sarah's eldest son Lewis Burdett spoke of the last conversation he had with her.

He also recalled the family history - how his mother had met Lacomba online and they had moved to Spain before moving to Portsmouth. The couple had spilt up in 2014 and Lewis had not wanted his mother to move back in with Lacomba.

“I saw my mum go through a lot of pain with Ben and after they separated and she said she was going to move back in with Ben I thought this was a stupid idea. I told her this and thought she was joking.”

A further statement given on November 9 explained how he had last seen his mother on October 6.

“She seemed in good spirits and was happy to be having a job interview on Monday October 8 for a good job which had more pay and a company car. I didn’t speak to her after this apart from her telling me she had got the job. She was very happy and looking forward to the future.”

A statement was read out from Sarah’s mother Ann Reid, who said the last time she saw Sarah was on Friday, October 5.

“Sarah was in a good mood,” she recalled. “She was going for an interview in London. She borrowed a suit and we even went to the pub together that night and Sarah was in a good mood despite an issue at work.

“The last time I spoke to Sarah was Monday, October 8. She told me she had been given the job and the job came with a Nissan Qashqai.”

Read more from the trial:

She said the first time she had realised anything was wrong was when Neil James rang her on Wednesday, October 10.

Speaking about Sarah and Ben’s relationship, she said it had been “up and down” since they split up.

“I can’t think of any reason why Sarah would get up and leave her children and I have no idea as to where she’s gone or who she would have gone to stay with.

“It’s now five days since she’s gone missing and I would like to think she would have contacted her mum by now or one of her friends.”

In a further statement taken on December 17 she said again that Sarah had told her about the job but added: “I was also aware of an argument Sarah had had with Ben a couple of days before she went missing but I can’t remember what this was about.”

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