Murder accused in 'psychotic rage' when he stabbed ex-partner, court hears

An area around Brickfields Avenue in Newmarket is cordoned off and a murder inquiry launched after a

Clare Nash died in her home in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket in 2020 - Credit: Archant

A former trainee jockey accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend has told a court that he was in a “psychotic rage” when he stabbed and strangled her to death.

Charles Jessop returned to give evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday, May 11 after shouting, swearing and storming out of the witness box while giving evidence on Monday.

In his fifth day of evidence, Jessop said that he feared his former girlfriend, Claire Nash, had a gun in her flat - and that if he didn’t kill her, she would kill him.

He said that while he was stabbing 33-year-old Miss Nash in the toilet of her flat in Brickfields, Newmarket, the handle of the knife had snapped off and he’d then strangled her.

“I strangled her because if I didn’t kill her she would kill me,” Jessop told the court.

He described himself as being in a “psychotic rage” after taking the anti-depressant drug Citalopram, which had been prescribed by his doctor just over two weeks before the killing.

Jessop, 30, of Bakers Row, Newmarket, has admitted unlawfully killing Miss Nash on January 16 last year, but denies murdering her.

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During his evidence, Jessop has described feeling suicidal, increasingly lonely and depressed in the days leading up to the killing after Miss Nash ended their relationship.

He told the court that he had started “snorting” crushed Citalopram tablets in a bid to lift his mood - but instead they had made him angry and aggressive.

He said that two days before he killed Miss Nash, he had been angry after she cancelled a dinner date with him at the last minute.

The court heard he had repeatedly called her mobile phone and sent her abusive messages from a pub - and told a friend that he would slit Miss Nash’s throat if he saw her in the pub again.

On January 16, he had cycled to her flat after snorting two Citalopram tablets and described feeling as though he was playing a computer game.

When Miss Nash arrived home with a friend, the court heard Jessop had walked in through the unlocked front door and accused her of avoiding him.

Jurors were then told he had then taken a knife out of his jacket and held it against the side of her face and put his arm across her chest saying: “I told you I was going to do this didn’t I?”

He had then stabbed her “about three times” before she managed to break free and go into the toilet.

Jessop said he believed there was a gun in the house and thought she had gone into the toilet to look for it so that she could shoot him.

He had continued stabbing her and had strangled her after she told him she was pregnant and that if they went upstairs she would show him the pregnancy test.

The trial continues.

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