Murder suspect: I'm no killer

A MURDER suspect arrested on suspicion of killing a former Suffolk thatcher has vehemently denied he is a murderer.

Colin Adwent

A MURDER suspect arrested on suspicion of killing a former Suffolk thatcher has vehemently denied he is a murderer.

Paul Arbon also told of the toll that being a suspect in relation to Richard Clarke's death has taken on him.

The 43-year-old is currently on police bail after being taken into custody on suspicion of the Eye pensioner's murder.

Mr Clarke, 74, was found in the driveway of his home in Cranley Green Road on August 22 this year with what is believed to have been a head injury.

Mr Arbon has told police he was walking his two dogs when he discovered Mr Clarke at 6.10am. The pensioner was subsequently taken to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

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Mr Arbon was arrested later the same day. After being questioned by detectives he was released on bail. He answered bail again on Monday, only to be re-bailed to return to Ipswich police station on December 16.

Mr Arbon, who lives with his partner Doreen Bendall in Eye, said: “I'm no murderer. I have done nothing wrong.

“I have been worried sick. I'm waking up every day worrying about this. I have been to the doctors and he put me on pills for a little while.

“We have had a lot of support from family and friends, and it is thanks to them that we are getting through this.”

The couple found it difficult to come to terms with how things changed within the space of 12 hours, after Mr Arbon said he tried to help Mr Clarke.

Ms Bendall, 34, said: “At 8.30 in the morning Paul was a hero. At 8.30 at night people thought he was a murderer.”

Many of Eye's residents know Mr Arbon is the man currently under suspicion, which has put a big strain on the couple.

Ms Bendall added: “The stress makes us argue, and people look at us strangely. The first couple of weeks after Paul's arrest we would get blank looks left right and centre. It made us feel people were judging us.”

Shortly after Mr Clarke's death his neighbours described him as a “very kind and thoughtful person”.

Norman Sillman, who regularly walked past Mr Clarke's home, said: “He was a nice chap. I've never known him to be aggressive to anybody. He has always been friendly.”

Mr Clarke was also an experienced cyclist and member of the Diss and District Cycling Club

Club president and competitions' secretary Mick Madgett paid tribute to him, saying: “He was still an active cyclist and used to go out regularly. He would always help with marshalling club time trials and was always happy to help out."

A post mortem examination of Mr Clarke's body found he had sustained a head injury and further tests were carried out.