Murder accused denies lying about victim having a gun

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

Clare Nash died in her flat in Brickfields, Newmarket - Credit: Archant

A former trainee jockey who claims he stabbed and strangled his former girlfriend because he feared she would shoot him if he didn’t kill her has denied lying about her having a gun.

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Charles Jessop denied that he had invented previously seeing Clare Nash with a gun in her house to explain his actions.

Jessop told the court that two months before he allegedly murdered  33-year-old Miss Nash in a toilet at her flat in Brickfields, Newmarket she had shown him a black handgun wrapped in plastic that had been hidden in a wardrobe.

He said that after he stabbed her around three times in the hallway of her flat, she had gone into the toilet and appeared to be looking for something which he believed to be the gun she had previously shown him.

Jessop claimed that Miss Nash had threatened to shoot him with the gun, which he claimed she was holding for drug-dealers, on an earlier occasion.

While they were in the toilet, he feared that if he didn’t kill her she would kill him, he said.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Mark Cotter QC, Jessop denied inventing the gun in order to explain his actions on the night of the killing.

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He accepted that he hadn’t told police who arrested him after the killing about there being gun in the house.

He claimed he thought they would find it when they searched the premises.

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

During his evidence, Jessop has 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.

He told the court he had felt suicidal and 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.

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

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

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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