Murder accused gives evidence

AN ALCOHOLIC accused of murder has told a court of his shock at twice within a few days waking to find two of his drinking companions dead a few feet from where he slept.

Paul Clarke told Ipswich Crown Court that on August 4 last year he fell asleep in the living room at Rosalyn Hunt’s flat in Victoria Street, Ipswich, and had been woken by a 15-year-old girl shaking him and telling him Mrs Hunt was dead.

He said 41-year-old Mrs Hunt, who had been sitting on a sofa when he fell asleep, was lying on the floor near his feet.

Clarke said it looked as if Mrs Hunt has been dragged into the position she was in and after realising she was not breathing he tried to resuscitate her.

When that failed he and the girl carried Mrs Hunt’s lifeless body into her bedroom and left her on her bed covered by a quilt.


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They then went to see 43-year-old Des Thorpe, who was another of Clarke’s drinking companions, to ask for his advice.

Mr Thorpe, who was an alcoholic, suggested they visited one of his friends who lived in Limerick Close and all three had gone there in a taxi.

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When they got into the taxi Mr Thorpe had been bleeding from a cut on his face which Clarke claimed was caused by the 15-year-old girl throwing a hairbrush at him.

Clarke said that in the days following their arrival in Limerick Close Mr Thorpe’s health had deteriorated to such an extent that he was incontinent and had frequently vomited into a bucket after drinking.

On August 9 Clarke fell asleep in the living room of the flat with Mr Thorpe on the sofa.

The 15-year-old girl had also been in the room. Later he had been woken by the girl telling him Mr Thorpe was dead. “I couldn’t believe it – two bodies in the space of a week. It was freaky,” said Clarke.

Asked by his barrister Anthony Davies if he panicked, Clarke replied: “Of course I did. I was scratching my head going ‘No. No’.”

He said the girl suggested they left the flat before an ambulance arrived and went with her because he was concerned about her.

Clarke, of Mountbatten Court, the girl who is now 16 and cannot be named because of her age, and John Grimwood, 28, of Canham Street, Ipswich have denied murdering Mrs Hunt between August 1 and 10 last year. Clarke and the girl have also denied murdering Mr Thorpe on August 10.

Giving evidence, Clarke accepted he had a sexual relationship with Mrs Hunt when they first knew each other. He admitted being violent towards her after being told she hit his dog and said that on the day of her death he blamed Mrs Hunt for the dog injuring a child in the town centre.

He kicked her on the thigh and shoulder and she struck her head on a TV stand as she tried to avoid the blow.

He had told Mrs Hunt never to touch his dog again and that their friendship was over.

They had sat in silence drinking in her front room before he fell asleep and then awoke to find her dead.

The trial continues.

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