Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Murdered man's friend found body

Gambian house
Mr West's charred remains were found near his holiday home

The friend of a man murdered by his wife in The Gambia has spoken about how he found the body at a holiday home.

William West, 76, of Hastings, West Sussex, was killed in 2006 by his wife Kate, who was found guilty of murder at a court in the country on Tuesday.

David Jenkins, who travelled to The Gambia with West, 28, to search for her husband, said he was left feeling numb.

The charred remains of retired property developer Mr West were found in a sack in the grounds of his holiday home.

West, who was a mature student, had claimed her Dublin-born husband had gone missing during a day-trip to Senegal on 3 July, 2006.

It was perhaps later when you think back and realise just how awful it was
David Jenkins

She said he simply vanished while she waited outside a convenience store while he bought cigars, so she returned firstly to their Gambian home and then to the UK to look for him.

Mr West, who lived in St Helen's Park Road, was registered as missing when his wife returned to The Gambia. Mr Jenkins joined the search in the West African country.

Mr Jenkins said it was "difficult" for him to return to the house where his friend had died.

He said: "It was almost numbness rather than anything else, simply because I was just sort of dealing with things I didn't have a great deal of time for reflection really.

Kate and William West
Kate West was given a life sentence for murder

"It was perhaps later when you think back and realise just how awful it was."

He said he had sensed there was something wrong when West returned to the UK without her husband, but had no idea she could have murdered him.

Mr Jenkins described his friend as having an "Irish eccentricity" and a quick temper at times, but added that he was very generous and kind.

West initially admitted murdering him with a wooden pestle before setting his body alight, but later denied the charge.

She was given a life term at Banjul High Court and told she would be spared the death penalty. Her lawyer said she intended to appeal.

David Jenkins

David Jenkins returned to the house belonging to Mr West with a BBC reporter

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