A ‘BOMBASTIC and bullying’ sailor whose pregnant wife vanished 20 years ago is facing life behind bars after he was this week convicted of her murder.

“Devoted” mother-of-three Debbie Griggs disappeared without a trace on May 5, 1999. At the time of her disappearance, she was pregnant with the couple’s fourth child.

Now Andrew Griggs, 57 and of Ringwood Road in St Leonards, East Dorset, has been found guilty following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

Following the verdict Mrs Griggs’ family, many of whom live in Poole, said they felt a sense of justice after “20 years of anguish, torment and heartache”.

Griggs (pictured) will be sentenced at the same court today, Wednesday.

Mr Justice Robin Spencer told him: “You know there is only one sentence for murder. Life imprisonment.”

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said the body of Debbie Griggs was disposed of and her car was found dumped streets away from her home in Deal, Kent.

He told the trial: “The prosecution case is that Debbie Griggs did not just up and leave her husband and children in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard of again.

“She was a devoted mother who would not have just abandoned her children.”

The court heard that the disappearance followed suspicions that her husband was having a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Griggs had denied murder and claimed to be asleep when his wife left home for the last time.

He denied ever being in a relationship with the 15-year-old, telling the police in the days after his wife’s disappearance that the girl was “just a mate”.

In an affidavit from the time, Mrs Griggs said: “During the course of our marriage my husband was bombastic and bullying. He has threatened to get me sorted.”

Derek Cameron, Mrs Griggs’ brother, said after the verdict: “Twenty years. This is how long it has taken for this to come to justice. Twenty years of hurt, pain, despair and emotional turmoil.”