Friend of alleged murder victim describes events on night of her death

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

Peter Claringbold, who lived with Clare Nash, gave evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday - Credit: Archant

A long-term friend of a Suffolk mother allegedly murdered at her flat in the presence of her three-year-old son has described the harrowing events on the night of her death. 

Peter Claringbold, who lived with Clare Nash at Brickfields Avenue in Newmarket, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court how he was inside the flat on January 16, 2020.

Miss Nash's ex-boyfriend, Charles Jessop, 29, of Bakers Row, Newmarket, is accused of stabbing and strangling the mother-of-two to death but has denied a charge of murder

Giving evidence in the trial on Monday, Mr Claringbold told the court he had been at the White Horse pub in Exning earlier on January 16 to have dinner with Miss Nash and her three-year-old son. 

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

Charles Jessop is accused of murdering Miss Nash at her Newmarket flat - Credit: Archant

Mr Claringbold said they left the pub around 8pm to return to their home, and Miss Nash then went back out to meet a friend. 

Mr Claringbold said he was sitting in the lounge of the property watching cartoons with Miss Nash's three-year-old son when he heard "a commotion" at the front door. 

He told the jury: "Clare was shouting: 'Call the police, call the police.'"

Mr Claringbold said he dialled 999 but Miss Nash's son ran to the door "because he heard his mum's voice". 

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Miss Nash and Jessop then entered the property and went into the toilet together, Mr Claringbold told the jury. 

The 999 call made by Mr Claringbold was played to jurors and shouting and screaming could be heard. 

Mr Claringbold said he heard Jessop tell Miss Nash: "You're going to die," before she replied: "Why are you doing this Charlie?"

"They were the last words I heard her say," Mr Claringbold added. 

Clare Nash was pronounced dead at the scene in Brickfields Avenue in January. Newmarket Picture: AR

Clare Nash was pronounced dead at the scene in Brickfields Avenue in January. Newmarket Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Earlier, the man Miss Nash had started a new relationship with, George Petrie, gave evidence to the jury. 

Mr Petrie, also known as Barry, worked at the Golden Lion pub in Newmarket at the time and got to know both Jessop and Miss Nash. 

He told the jury how he saw Jessop drinking in the Golden Lion on January 14 and was on his phone "the entire night". 

Mr Petrie said Jessop became agitated and asked him: "How's your girlfriend?" 

Jessop then made threats against Miss Nash, saying he would "slit her throat" and that she would "go missing", Mr Petrie said. 

The court previously heard that Jessop is "seeking to raise issues as to the state of his mind at the time of the killing", and will claim the antidepressant drug Citalopram affected him. 

The trial continues.