By Hilary Duncanson
The Englishman who murdered his wife in a staged car accident and tried to kill his second in a copycat crash in New Zealand has lost a bid to have his conviction referred back to the High Court.
Malcolm Webster, 56, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years for killing Claire Morris, 32, in the planned crash in Aberdeenshire in 1994 and attempting to kill Felicity Drumm in New Zealand in 1999 to claim insurance money.
The former nurse, from Guildford, Surrey, was handed the life sentence after being convicted of the crimes in May 2011 following a five-month trial in Glasgow.
He lost an appeal against his conviction in 2013 when judges at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh rejected a claim he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
In 2014, Webster launched a new bid to clear his name by asking the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to look into his conviction.
It is the Scottish body which reviews alleged miscarriages of justice in criminal cases and has the power to refer a case back before senior judges for a fresh look.
The SCCRC confirmed on Tuesday that Webster's application has been refused.
A spokesman said: "The commission's review has concluded and this case has not been referred to the High Court."
Webster claimed the death of Ms Morris was an accident which happened when he swerved to avoid a motorcyclist.
The jury heard the killer drugged her before driving the car they were in off an Aberdeenshire road and starting a fire while she lay unconscious inside.
He fraudulently claimed more than £200,000 (NZ$435,635) from insurance policies following her death, later spending it on a Range Rover car, a yacht and on seducing a string of women.
In 1999 he tried to murder Ms Drumm in a copycat car crash in New Zealand in an attempt to claim more than £750,000 of insurance money.