Ex-partner claims Newmarket murder accused strangled her in street

Police have launched a murder enquiry after the death of a woman in Brickfields Avenue in Newmarket.

Police launched a murder inquiry after the death of Clare Nash in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket - Credit: Archant

The former girlfriend of a man accused of murdering his subsequent partner has told a court he once throttled her in the street.

Naomi Goldsmith took the stand to give evidence in the trial of Charles Jessop at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.

Jessop, 29, is accused of stabbing and strangling mother-of-two Clare Nash to death at her flat in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket, on January 16 last year.

A police cordon at the scene in Brickfields Avenue Newmarket Picture: ARCHANT

A police cordon at the scene in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket - Credit: Archant

Jessop, of Bakers Row, Newmarket, denies murder.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Mark Cotter QC opened by alleging that Jessop stabbed Ms Nash multiple times before strangling her when the knife broke.

Mrs Goldsmith recalled providing a statement to police in November last year – in which she recounted having a short relationship with the mechanic after meeting in a Newmarket nightclub in July 2019.

She told jurors Jessop would "constantly shout, be abusive and make me choose between him and my friends".

Charles Jessop, 28, is set to appear in court accused of killing 33-year-old Clare Nash at a flat in

Charles Jessop is accused of killing 33-year-old Clare Nash - Credit: Archant

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Mrs Goldsmith claimed that, having just lost his job, Jessop punched a shop window and attempted to strangle her for two minutes after being thrown out of the same nightclub. 

Defence barrister Keir Monteith QC pointed out that Mrs Goldsmith had been contacted by police after Jessop's arrest, but that, when asked, had stated "Charlie was never physically violent towards me", and only added the account of the incident to her statement at a later date.

He also attempted to cast doubt on her claims that he was verbally abusive, adding: "I suggest that's not true. If he was, why did you stay with him?"

Mrs Goldsmith replied: "Because I was stupid."

Mr Monteith argued that Mrs Goldsmith's account was "rubbish", arguing that she would have passed out if strangled for two minutes, and that other people would have heard her screams and come to her aid.

He questioned why the pair had then returned home in silence and stayed together for another two weeks before Jessop left her for Ms Nash, adding: "It doesn't seem to make any sense at all."

Under re-examination, Mrs Goldsmith claimed she had been telling the truth.

In opening the case, Mr Cotter had told jurors that Jessop was "seeking to raise issues as to the state of his mind" and would claim he was affected by the antidepressant drug Citalopram.

On Wednesday, Mr Cotter read a list of times Jessop had encountered the criminal justice system, probation and health services since the age of 12, including four occasions when he was convicted of either threatening behaviour, criminal damage or violence – including assaulting his previous girlfriend – before being prescribed Citalopram.

Jurors previously heard  that Miss Nash began to withdraw from the relationship during December 2019. 

Mr Cotter said "anger and jealously" drove him to kill Clare Nash in a "pre-meditated, vicious and cowardly attack".

The trial continues.