Rapist is linked to serial killings
A MAN awaiting sentence for rape in Essex has been identified as a suspect in an unsolved Australian serial killer investigation, the EADT can reveal.Paul Clare, 43, was convicted on Friday of attacking a 16-year-old girl as she left a Braintree nightclub in the early hours of November, 2004.
By Roddy Ashworth
A MAN awaiting sentence for rape in Essex has been identified as a suspect in an unsolved Australian serial killer investigation, the EADT can reveal.
Paul Clare, 43, was convicted on Friday of attacking a 16-year-old girl as she left a Braintree nightclub in the early hours of November, 2004.
After being found guilty it was revealed in 1993 he was convicted of a sex-related bomb hoax in Perth, Australia.
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The previous year he had been found guilty of a sex-related burglary, also in Australia.
However, the EADT has learned that when Essex detectives flew out to Western Australia to research Clare's background last year, their Australian counterparts took particular interest in the way in which he carried out the Braintree rape.
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It transpired that Clare - already the prime suspect for a string of unsolved violent rapes in Kings Park, Perth - was identified as early as 1999 as a “person of interest” in relation to a trio of infamous murders known as the Claremont serial killings.
Jane Rimmer, Ciara Glennon and Sarah Spiers disappeared between January 1996 and March 1997 after leaving nightclubs in the affluent Perth suburb of Claremont.
The bodies of Ms Rimmer, 23, and 27-year-old Ms Glennon were discovered in scrubland some weeks after they went missing, while the body of 18-year-old Ms Spiers has never been found.
After the Essex detectives visited Australia in relation to the Braintree rape, the head of the Macro Taskforce - the unit set up to investigate the Claremont serial killings - confirmed Clare was of interest to the inquiry.
Although Det-Sgt Martin Crane declined to comment on exactly why Clare was nominated as a “person of interest,” he told an Australian journalist that information from a third party and his suspected involvement in the Kings Park rapes automatically drew the task force's attention.
He declined to comment on whether Australian detectives would seek forensic evidence from the UK inquiry to compare with items related to the Claremont serial killings investigation.
And he added: “The information provided to us by the English police is also of interest but doesn't necessarily elevate him for us.”
Clare, of Little Hallingbury, Bishop's Stortford, will be sentenced for the Braintree rape after psychiatric report is carried out.
On Friday, Judge John Devaux said at Ipswich Crown Court he was still considering the continuing danger Clare posed to the public.
Yesterday, an Essex Police spokesman confirmed: “We sent officers to Australia to research Mr Clare's past and liase with our Australian colleagues from March 12 to 23 last year.
“We can say the Australian police have not closed their files on Mr Clare.”