Ex-boyfriend, 39, denies murdering mother-of-five Sarah Wellgreen

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Sarah Wellgreen, 46, disappeared in October

Sarah Wellgreen, 46, disappeared in October

A taxi driver accused of killing his ex-girlfriend today told his murder trial he had nothing to do with her death, claiming they were a 'brilliant team'.

Sarah Wellgreen's former partner Ben Lacomba told Woolwich Crown Court in South East London that he had 'definitely not' killed the 46-year-old, whose body has never been found.

Lacomba, 39, insisted he did not know she was missing until the morning of October 11 last year - more than 24 hours after she had last been seen alive as the beautician returned from work to her home in New Ash Green, Kent.

The taxi driver also told the jury that their early years together were 'brilliant' and they made a 'fantastic team'.

Speaking from the witness box at the start of the third week of his trial, trained air pilot Lacomba told the court he was 'over the moon' when he became a father for the first time.

Ben Lacomba (pictured) is accused of murdering his ex Sarah Wellgreen after she got a new job

Ben Lacomba is accused of murdering his ex Sarah Wellgreen (pictured) after she got a new job

Ben Lacomba (left, pictured in November 2018) is accused of murdering Ms Wellgreen (right)

But he said trust issues developed over a later pregnancy and the couple eventually split in 2014 after Miss Wellgreen met another man on holiday in Turkey.

Lacomba said Miss Wellgreen, a former Lloyds TSB bank manager, moved out of their home and from then on their relationship was 'somewhat acrimonious'.

At the start of his evidence, his barrister Rebecca Trowler QC said: 'The jury has heard that you have pleaded not guilty to the allegation of the murder of Sarah Wellgreen.

'I am going to ask you straightaway are you responsible for Miss Wellgreen's disappearance?'

Lacomba replied: 'I'm in no way responsible for Sarah's disappearance and I definitely haven't killed her.'

Ms Trowler then asked: 'When did you first become aware that she was actually missing?' to which he responded: 'I would say the day I actually reported her missing on 11th of October 2018.'

Detectives searched for thousands of man hours for Ms Wellgreen's body after she went missing in New Ash Green, Kent, last October - but it has never been found

Detectives searched for thousands of man hours for Ms Wellgreen's body after she went missing in New Ash Green, Kent, last October - but it has never been found

The court heard Lacomba left school after studying A levels to train as a 3D animator before working for a TV and music post production company in London.

But following the death of his paternal Spanish grandfather in Majorca, he moved out there in 2002 to train as a pilot and living with his grandmother in Palma.

He met Miss Wellgreen online on a dating website called Faceparty around Christmas 2004 and met in person in January 2005.

Lacomba told the court he flew back to England to spend a week at Miss Wellgreen's then home in Portsmouth and their relationship was sexual from the start.

At the time, Miss Wellgreen had two sons, Lewis and Jack, now aged 23 and 22 respectively, and was divorcing a man called Barry Donaldson.

It is believed she had been wed twice before, her first marriage being when she was just 16.

Lacomba said he and Miss Wellgreen had a 'long distance relationship' for about a year before she and her sons joined him in Majorca in December 2005.

He described her as 'a normal, happy person', curvy and 'always physically healthy', adding she had ran for England while growing up.

Miss Wellgreen then became pregnant while they were living on the Spanish island and Lacomba was working for a private jet handling company at the airport while looking for his first piloting job.

However, they returned to England in the Spring of 2007 and moved to New Ash Green.

Miss Wellgreen went back to work as a bank manager while Lacomba was a 'home dad' for six months, he told the jury, before working as a taxi driver with All Night Cars in Dartford, Kent.

Asked about their relationship between 2007 and 2012, he said: 'It was brilliant. We were what I describe as a fantastic team. We were a happy family.'

The court has already heard Lacomba claimed Ms Wellgreen's new boyfriend Neil James (pictured) was 'paranoid' when he first reported her missing

The court has already heard Lacomba claimed Ms Wellgreen's new boyfriend Neil James (pictured) was 'paranoid' when he first reported her missing

He said any arguments were 'typical arguments that any family would have in day to day life'.

They carried out home improvements and brought a investment property in Turkey to also use for holidays.

Lacomba also told the court that Miss Wellgreen began to see her her GP regarding 'anger issues' and for which she was prescribed medication.

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