Thursday 7th May 2009,
No one but Forshaw really
knows what went wrong.
On the night of 7th May Police
Constable Claire Howarth
had sent a text message to a friend to say how happy she
was, and was looking forward to her wedding in a few days, in
the Caribbean island of St Lucia. Later that night
Fiancée Martin Forshaw attacked her with a hammer then faked her death
in a car crash in Bolton.
He beat her with a hammer,
then put her into the car, he drove around for a while
before getting out and putting her in the drivers seat,
he sat in the passenger seat and reached over to press
the accelerator, then crashing into a hedge. He then
dialled 999 to report the fake accident, claiming she
was not wearing her seatbelt.
The post mortem found she
had been beaten around the head with a lump hammer,
causing severe head trauma and 14 separate
injuries to her head and neck.
Monday 18th May
2009, Martin Forshaw is arrested and charged with
murder. Forshaw claimed he acted in self defence as
Claire had attacked him with the hammer after finding
out he was having an affair with a previous girlfriend.
Monday 23rd November
2009, Judge Justice David Clarke jailed Forshaw for
life, with a recommendation he serve a minimum 18 years.
Parole in 2027.
The judge said: "This was a
brutal killing. Whatever immediately led up to it you
struck Claire Howarth at least five times to and around
the head with a very heavy and dangerous instrument,
designed to strike very hard blows."