Former landlord of murder accused kept knives away from him, court hears

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 murdering Clare Nash at her flat in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket - Credit: Archant

The former landlord of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend hid kitchen knives from his lodger as a preventative measure, a jury has heard. 

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, Sean Jackson, 29, told the jury how he moved kitchen knives to a top cupboard in his home at Bakers Row in Newmarket on December 30, 2019.

Charles Jessop, who rented a room from Mr Jackson, is accused of stabbing and strangling mother-of-two Clare Nash to death at her Newmarket flat on January 16, 2020. 

Jessop, 29, of Bakers Row, Newmarket, denies murder. 

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

Charles Jessop's former landlord gave evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday - Credit: Archant

When asked to describe Jessop, Mr Jackson told the jury that he "seemed a decent enough guy" and added that the pair "weren't friends but were friendly".

Speaking of Jessop and Miss Nash's relationship, Mr Jackson said: "Initially they seemed very good for each other. A month later it started to deteriorate."

Mr Jackson told the jury about an incident on December 3, 2019, when he was forced to intervene following an argument between Jessop and Miss Nash. 

He said he was asleep in bed with his girlfriend around 11.30pm when he heard shouting from downstairs. 

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He told the jury he heard Miss Nash shouting: "Let me out, let me out," and found Jessop standing with his hands on his bedroom door frame, with Miss Nash inside the room. 

Mr Jackson said he pulled Jessop away and told him to calm down while Miss Nash made her way out of the room. 

Jessop and Miss Nash then began talking in the living room and eventually went back to Miss Nash flat in Brickfields Avenue, Mr Jackson said. 

Suffolk police launched a murder inquiry after the death of Clare Nash in Brickfields Avenue, Newmar

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks - Credit: Archant

The court also heard that on one occasion, Jessop told Mr Jackson: "I'm going to kill her or string myself up."

On December 30, 2019, police officers came to Mr Jackson's home looking for Jessop following a concern for welfare call but left after discovering he wasn't there. 

It was then that Mr Jackson moved the kitchen knives into a top cupboard. 

Jessop returned to the property 10 minutes later, looking "distressed", Mr Jackson said. 

"He said: 'Don't talk to me, don't get involved,'" Mr Jackson said. 

"He went into the kitchen, opened the drawer and asked: 'Where are the knives?' 

"I said: 'You don't need to worry about that.'"

Jessop then left the property and Mr Jackson returned the knives to the drawer the next day, the court heard. 

Opening the case on Tuesday, prosecutor Mark Cotter QC 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, a former girlfriend of Jessop's told a court he once throttled her in the street.

Prosecutors allege that "anger and jealously" drove Jessop to kill Clare Nash in a "pre-meditated, vicious and cowardly attack".

The trial continues.