A FISHERMAN murdered his pregnant wife before allegedly dumping her body at sea 20 years ago – after she suspected him of having an affair with a 15-year-old.
The body of Debbie Griggs was never found after she disappeared from her Deal home on May 5, 1999.
Her husband, Andrew, was today jailed for a minimum of 20 years, after a judge said he suspected the mum-of-three's body was in the English Channel.
Griggs claimed the pregnant woman had walked out on him and their sons as she was depressed.
But a court heard in reality he had killed his wife, disposed of her body and dumped her car more than a mile away as he tried to cover his tracks.
It was heard previously Mrs Griggs had suspicions her husband was in a relationship with a teenager, which the judge said he "had no doubt whatsoever" was true.
And the jury was also told Debbie would have been entitled to half of the family's fishmonger business if they divorced due to their rocky marriage.
The 57-year-old was unanimously found guilty of murder by a jury on Monday after a three and a half week trial at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent.
Balding blue badge holder Griggs, wearing a grey polo shirt, showed no emotion as the statements were read out.
'TOLD LIE AFTER LIE'
Sentencing Griggs, Mr Justice Robin Spencer said: "Her body has never been found. Only you know how you killed her and where you hid her body.
"You told lie after lie in the witness box just as you did after her disappearance and just as you have for the last 20 years.
"Only you know what took place that night in the house. Only you know how you killed Debbie and disposed of her body.
"I strongly suspect you dumped her body at sea.
"As an experienced sailor and deep sea fisherman you knew that stretch of coast like the back of your hand. It would not have been difficult to weigh her body down so it sank."
In an emotional impact statement read out in court by prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC Debbie's father Brian Cameron said his wife Patricia died of a broken heart
Her body has never been found. Only you know how you killed her and where you hid her body.
Debbie's mum had made repeated pleas for her to come home and always maintained that she believed Debbie's husband Andrew was responsible.
Patricia died just weeks before businessman Griggs was charged with his wife's murder.
In his statement Mr Cameron said: "The worst thing has been not knowing where she is. Not having a grave to go to, a place to grieve.
"It will always be difficult not knowing what happened in her final moments but we can take some comfort in seeing justice being done."
Andrew and Debbie moved into their family home in Deal in 1990 and married later that same year.
Their marriage deteriorated over the following decade and Debbie vanished in the evening of May 5, 1999.
Griggs, now of St Leonard's, Dorset, had denied murder and claimed to be asleep when his wife left home for the last time.
The investigation into Debbie's death has been regularly reviewed by cold case detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who resubmitted their case to the Crown Prosecution Service earlier this year.
Detective Chief Inspector Kaye Braybrook, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate appealed to Griggs to reveal where Debbie's body is.
And Wendi Rowlinson, her sister, said the family can now "celebrate for Debbie".
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