Pair accused of murder were high on drugs, jury told

IPSWICH: A 15-year-old girl and 41-year-old man accused of murdering an Ipswich woman were drunk and high on drugs while she was being tortured, a court has heard.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard evidence from a 17-year-old girl yesterday, who claims she saw Paul Clarke and a 15-year-old girl beat up and torture Rosalyn Hunt, who was murdered on August 9 last year.

Clarke, 41, of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, the 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named, and John Grimwood, 28, of Canham Street, all deny murdering Mrs Hunt, of Victoria Street, Ipswich.

In a police interview video played to the court, the 17-year-old witness said she spoke to the 15-year-old girl in the street who told her that she and Clarke were holding Mrs Hunt hostage because she had hit Clarke’s dog.

As the 17-year-old did not believe her, she accompanied the 15-year-old to Clarke’s flat where she saw Mrs Hunt, who was an alcoholic, sitting on a sofa. She claimed the 15-year-old then hit Mrs Hunt in the face with a dog chain and went on to kick her “about 12 times”.

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The witness said blood was coming out of Mrs Hunt’s head and she had several bruises.

The 17-year-old alleges Clarke set Mrs Hunt’s hair on fire by using a lighter, and then the 15-year-old “stomped” on her head to put it out.

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She then claims they poured salt into the cut on her head.

The 17-year-old said: “Clarke said ‘was it you who hit the dog’ and I said ‘no’. I was scared they would start on me. They asked me if I wanted to kick Rosie [Mrs Hunt]. They were all drunk. They were high on something - I could smell weed.”

It was also heard that they said they were going to kill Mrs Hunt and put her in a suitcase. The witness said they wanted to put her in the suitcase to see if she would fit, so Clarke grabbed Mrs Hunt’s legs, pushed them in the suitcase and zipped it up. She was kept in there for about a minute before being taken out and kicked again, it was heard.

The witness said after about 20 minutes, she made her excuses and left the house.

She added: “I do not know if she [Mrs Hunt] was alive when I went because she was just sitting there.”

Clarke and the 15-year-old also deny murdering 43-year-old Des Thorpe whose body was found in a flat in Limerick Close on August 10 last year. It has been alleged that Mr Thorpe was killed because he threatened to tell police what had happened to Mrs Hunt.

The case continues today.

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