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Sarah Wellgreen murder trial: Ben Lacomba guilty of murder of ex who disappeared from New Ash Green home

The partner of a woman who was murdered by the father of three of her children has said he hopes he "rots inside".

Ben Lacomba was this morning found guilty of the murder Sarah Wellgreen, who went missing from New Ash Green in October last year and has never been found.

KMTV reports on the verdict

Neil James, Sarah’s partner at the time she was killed, spoke outside the court room after the verdict.

“It’s been a year coming,” he said. “We knew he was guilty. We’re just happy with the decision. We’ve known this for a long long time and a lot of people have been affected.

“My daughter still asks where mummy Sarah is and thinks I’m at the police station looking for her today.

“The search team have been amazing - they’re all volunteers; they’ve all gone out of their way and supported the family.

“It’s just a relief. I think all the evidence was stacked against him.

Ben Lacomba has been found guilty of murdering ex partner Sarah Wellgreen (20304467)
Ben Lacomba has been found guilty of murdering ex partner Sarah Wellgreen (20304467)

“I was determined to come back today and told work we should get something today or tomorrow.

"Let’s hope he goes down for a long long time and let’s hope he admits where Sarah’s body is. It’s a great relief and hopefully a lot of us can move on.

“The police and the barristers have done an amazing job.”

He added: “Let’s hope he rots inside.”

Sarah’s son Jack Burdett said: "Thanks to all members of the court including the jury members and to the excellent team at Kent Police for all their hard work.

"We would also like to thank all the community searchers for their efforts to find our mum.

"The family are pleased and happy with the result today. Justice has been served."

Sharon Brine, one of the six people who started the Search for Sarah Wellgreen Facebook page, says the job is only half done with Lacomba's conviction.

Lewis Burdett with mum Sarah
Lewis Burdett with mum Sarah

She said: "We're relieved and exhausted after the trial, it has been an emotional rollercoaster. While justice has been done we still haven't gleaned any further information as to Sarah's whereabouts which remains our primary focus.

"It's bitter sweet - we're only half way there and still need to find Sarah. We have come this far, our primary focus is finding her and that remains to be our priority."

Ms Brine has urged Lacomba to tell the police and Sarah's and children, mother and friends where she is.

"We would urge him to give up Sarah's location so her family can have the closure that they so need and deserve."

The Search for Sarah Wellgreen group have committed to continually working to find the New Ash Green mother, even though the trial is over.

Police outside Sarah's home in Bazes Shaw
Police outside Sarah's home in Bazes Shaw

"Absolutely (we'll continue). As we said previously our primary objective is finding Sarah and therefore this continues to be our priority."

Describing the ordeal of the last year, the volunteer search co-ordinator added: "There have been peaks and troughs throughout the past year, it has definitely taken a huge emotional toll on us.

"We started out as six individuals wanting to help and we very quickly became a team providing different strengths and attributes to the search.

"We are now six very close friends as a result of the emotions we've all been through."

The Facebook page was set up days after Sarah Wellgreen was reported missing and has just under 10,000 likes.

During the past year they've assisted in searches, kept members of the public updated and set up a Trust for the mother-of-five, to help raise £50,000 for her family.

The Search for Sarah Wellgreen Group posted on their Facebook site: “Now we have a guilty verdict any support for the family would be greatly appreciated.”

Donations can be made here.

Additional reporting for Sean McPolin

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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