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Mildenhall: Man denies helping murderer after killings at Beck Row

21:46 18 December 2012

Police at the scene of the murder

Police at the scene of the murder

A SUFFOLK man helped a double murderer by letting him into his home following the killings and giving him a change of clothing before driving him away from the area, it has been claimed.

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Christopher Line had knocked on Michael Clinton’s front door and told him that he had “blown away” two people, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Instead of calling the police, Clinton had allegedly invited Line into his home before “taking control” of the situation and phoning another friend to discuss what they should do, said Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting.

Clinton, 42, of Church Close, Beck Row, near Mildenhall, has denied doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice on March 15, 2011, by assisting Christopher Line to evade arrest.

Mr Khalil told the court that on March 15 last year the two men – 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, Beck Row.

Mr Vinden had left the site with his family and Line had stayed behind and had 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 had shot Mr Hill on a road on the site before shooting Mr Castell in his car.

Police were called to the scene after neighbours reported hearing gun shots.

Line had left the caravan site and turned up on Clinton’s doorstep. Mr Khalil alleged that after inviting Line into his home Clinton had offered to take him where he wanted and had driven him to nearby Soham.

Mr Khalil said that Line was later caught on CCTV in a supermarket near Clinton’s home wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Taking the Mick”, which Mr Khalil alleged had been provided to him by Clinton after the shootings.

Mr Khalil said that when police initially spoke to Clinton he had denied seeing or hearing from Line on the night of the murders

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 said he had allowed Line to stay at his house before taking him to Soham the next day but denied giving him a change of clothes.

“He was willing, ready and able to assist his friend in need,” alleged Mr Khalil.

The trial continues today.

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