THE stepfather of killer Clive Sharp says he knew “the black sheep of the family” had murdered vet Catherine Gowing.
John Whyte, 70, told of the heartbreak his late wife Margaret had suffered when her son was jailed for rape.
Now the frail man’s only solace is that his beloved wife died before her son became a murderer.
Sharp, 46, from Bethesda, Gwynedd, admitted murdering the Irish 37-year-old, some of whose remains were found in a shallow pool close to Mr Whyte’s house in Sealand.
In an emotional interview with the Leader Mr Whyte told how the shock of the case had made his cancer battle harder.
“I knew as soon as I read in the paper that he had been arrested that he had done it,” said Mr Whyte.
“He went to prison for a long time when he was young. He could have been 18. I think he raped a woman.
“I said to Margaret I just don’t want to know him. I have never spoken to him since that day. The things he had done were so abhorrent.”
He added: “He’s been in jail twice at least but I just block it out of my mind. I don’t want to associate myself with him.”
Mr Whyte, a retired fibre optic developer, married Margaret and took on her four sons and one daughter.
He forged a loving relationship with all of the children apart from Clive who was “the black sheep of the family”.
He said Clive’s siblings had thought about changing their names because of the shame their brother had brought on the family name.
He explained: “The others are brilliant. It’s just Clive that was the problem.
“It was nothing to do with his mum but he must have had problems with women because he was so strange.
“He said he had girlfriends but I never saw them.
“I have thought and thought and thought about it all the time and I still can’t work it out.
“He was on a plane of his own – a loner.”
Although he could not bear to speak to Sharp, he said his wife tried everything.
“The worst thing of all was Margaret, his mother. It absolutely broke her heart.
“She was so special to me. She was a person that would go out of her way to help people.
“She said she would never forgive him. She did all she could and then she drew a blank.”
He said of the murder case: “I was glad Margaret wasn’t around because it would have killed her.
“She died of stomach cancer and now I’ve got it so it’s just a limited time for me now.”
He added: “It used to hurt Margaret. That’s what I have never, ever forgiven him for.
“Margaret was everything to me and for him to bring that sort of notice on the family, including his mother, it’s disgraceful.
“I used to sit with her in bed holding her because she was sobbing and I blame him for all that.”
He told of how the stress of the murder probe had taken its toll on his already fragile health: “I had to go away. I was feeling really ill.
“I went to my sister’s in Buckley and I had a hell of a time.
“They looked after me. I was seriously ill. If it wasn’t for their help then I wouldn’t be here today.”
He said when he heard Sharp had pleaded guilty to murder at Mold Crown Court on January 14, he felt nothing.
“It’s just alien to me for a person to do that to anybody – murder is abhorrent.”
Sharp will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Monday, February 25.
Mr Justice Griffith-Williams has said there can only be one sentence and that would be life imprisonment.