Murder accused blames anti-depressant medication for what happened

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

The scene after Clare Nash was found dead in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket. Charles Jessop denies her murder. - Credit: Archant

A former trainee jockey accused of killing his ex-girlfriend has blamed anti-depressant medication he was taking for what happened.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Charles Jessop told a jury that he had loved Claire Nash “unconditionally”.

In the weeks leading up to her death, he said he’d been so anxious and depressed after she ended the relationship that he’d made an emergency doctor’s appointment.

Jessop said he’d had suicidal thoughts but had not wanted to hurt anyone else, including Miss Nash.

“All I wanted to do was hurt myself. I wanted to kill myself. I didn’t want to be there in pain I wanted to sit there dead,” he said.

Asked by his barrister Kier Monteith QC why 16 days later he had stabbed and strangled Miss Nash, Jessop replied: “Because of that medication. I’m telling you it’s that medication.”

Jessop has told the court that he had been prescribed the anti-depressant drug Citalopram but hadn’t been warned that it could make him aggressive.

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He said he’d just been advised not to drink any alcohol while taking the medication, as it would make the tablets less effective.

Jessop, 30, of Bakers Row, Newmarket admits unlawfully killing 33-year-old mother-of-two Miss Nash in January last year.

However, he denies murdering her by stabbing and strangling her in the toilet of her flat in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket.

The mechanic and former trainee jockey told the court that he had sought help from his GP for anxiety and depression and was prescribed the antidepressant drug Citalopram.

Asked by Mr Monteith why after killing Miss Nash he he had made reference to schizophrenia, psychosis and needing to be "locked up in Broadmoor", Jessop said those were the "extreme senses" he felt as a result of taking the drug.

The side effects, he claimed, had caused the "illusion" of being in a video game in the lead-up to killing Miss Nash.

In opening the case to the jury, Mark Cotter QC, prosecuting, told jurors that Jessop was "seeking to raise issues as to the state of his mind" and would claim he was affected by the anti-depressant drug Citalopram.

The trial continues.

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