The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the case of a taxi driver accused of murdering mother-of-five Sarah Wellgreen.

The 46-year-old beautician had been living a "happy life with much to look forward to" but disappeared without a trace in October 2018.

Her ex-partner Ben Lacomba, 39, is on trial for allegedly killing Ms Wellgreen and disposing of her body.

Despite extensive searches across vast stretches of land close to her home in Kent, Ms Wellgreen's body has never been found.

Lacomba and the victim split up in 2014 but still lived together at their home in New Ash Green, at the time of her disappearance.

During the three-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court, the court heard the couple had met online in 2004 but by the time of her disappearance their relationship was marked by "tensions and problems", prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said.

Lacomba was allegedly motivated to kill Ms Wellgreen over fears of losing his family home and access to his children.

Ms Morgan said: "She did not leave her home voluntarily, abandoning her children for whatever reason, never to return.

"She was murdered by this defendant, her former partner.

"He then disposed of her body. Only this defendant knows where it is and exactly what he did that night."

Lacomba said he was asleep in bed on the night of the alleged killing.

He is accused of switching off a CCTV system in the middle of the night and parking his car in an unusual spot in order to evade detection.

Judge Christopher Kinch sent the jury out just before 1pm on Wednesday.

The jury is not due to sit on Thursday and Friday and will recommence its deliberations on Monday if it does not reach a verdict on Wednesday.