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Mildenhall: Lorry driver who let murderer into his home claims he lied to protect his own life

17:04 20 December 2012

Police, fire and forensics officers at the Willow Park caravan and travellerfs site in Beck Row

Police, fire and forensics officers at the Willow Park caravan and travellerfs site in Beck Row

A LORRY driver accused of helping a double murderer has told a court he was scared he would be killed as well.

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Michael Clinton, of Church Close, Beck Row, near Mildenhall, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that Christopher Line had turned up at his bungalow at night and told him that he had killed two people.

Clinton said he had not wanted to get involved and did not know what to do.

“At the end of the day this bloke had killed two people and what was to stop him making me number three,” he said. “I kept saying ‘You can’t stay here’. He didn’t threaten me but I kept thinking if he could do that he could do it to me.”

He accepted that Line had stayed at his house for a few hours before he drove him to Soham but said that short of picking Line up and throwing him out of the house there was nothing he could do to make him leave.

It has been alleged that Clinton helped Line by letting him into his home after he had killed two men at Willow Park, Beck Row, before giving him a change of clothing and driving him to Soham.

Clinton, 42, has denied doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice on March 15, 2011, by assisting Line to evade arrest.

The court has heard that on March 15 last year David Castell, 29, and Shane Hill, 20, had travelled from Essex to set light to caravans on a plot occupied by Line and his employer Sam Vinden at Willow Park.

Mr Vinden left the site with his family and Line had stayed behind and lain in wait for Mr Castell and Mr Hill armed with a shotgun. After Mr Castell and Mr Hill had set light to a caravan and a trailer, Line had ambushed them and shot Mr Hill on a road to the site before shooting Mr Castell in his car.

Prosecuting, Karim Khalil QC said that when police initially spoke to Clinton, he had denied seeing or hearing from Line on the night. When police spoke to him again six months later, Clinton told police Line had turned up at his house and told him he had shot two people dead.

Clinton denied giving Line a change of clothes.

Asked by Mr Khalil why he hadn’t called the police when Line turned up at his home Clinton replied: “ I’m not a hero. This is real life. It’s not EastEnders. How do I know that if I said I’m going to phone the police I wouldn’t be blown to bits?”

The trial continues today.

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