Teenager ‘took part in a double murder’

A 15-YEAR-OLD Ipswich girl was involved in the murders of two alcoholics while on the run from social services after absconding from a children’s home, it has been alleged.

The teenager was allegedly one of three people who subjected 41-year-old Rosalyn Hunt to a “sadistic and prolonged” assault in a flat in the town shortly before her death in August last year.

She was also allegedly involved in the killing of 43-year-old Des Thorpe to silence him about what had happened to Mrs Hunt, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Prosecution counsel Pat Lynch QC, claimed that during the alleged attack at a flat in Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, Mrs Hunt was repeatedly punched and kicked in the head, had a cheese grater rubbed into her face until she bled, had salt put in her open wounds and had her hair set alight with a cigarette lighter.

Witnesses also described seeing her being whipped with a dog chain and having an electric fan held in her face.

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Two days after the alleged incident, Mrs Hunt returned to her one-bedroom flat in Victoria Street in Ipswich where she was allegedly subjected to further violence by the teenage girl, 41-year-old Paul Clarke and 28-year-old John Grimwood which had led to her death, said Miss Lynch.

Mrs Hunt’s body was found on August 9 after a worried neighbour contacted the police.

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A post-mortem examination showed she had died from a heavy blow to her neck/chest area. She was also found to have multiple external injuries and nine broken ribs.

Miss Lynch claimed that prior to Mr Thorpe’s death on August 10 last year, he had been subjected to repeated incidents of violence by Clarke and the 15-year-old girl and that he died after being smothered with a cushion at a flat in Limerick Close, Ipswich, because he threatened to tell police what had happened to Mrs Hunt.

Mr Thorpe, who was described as a chronic alcoholic, was found to have multiple external injuries to his body as well as a faint, patterned mark on his forehead which could have been caused by the imprint of a shoe. Cuts to his upper lip caused by contact with his teeth led a pathologist to conclude he had been smothered.

Clarke, of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, Grimwood, of Canham Street, Ipswich, and the girl, who is now 16, have denied murdering Mrs Hunt between August 1 and August 10 last year.

Clarke and the girl, who cannot be named because of her age, also deny murdering Mr Thorpe on August 10 last year.

Miss Lynch told the court that the three defendants, Mrs Hunt, Mr Thorpe and a number of witnesses in the case had all been members of the street drinking community in Ipswich.

In May last year, Mrs Hunt, who was described as vulnerable and a long-term alcoholic, had started a relationship with Clarke and he and the 15-year-old girl had moved into her flat in Victoria Street.

Miss Lynch said it appeared to some witnesses that the girl and Clarke were “taking over” Mrs Hunt’s life.

They had noticed a marked change in her physical appearance and mental state.

The court was told that prior to the alleged murders the 15-year-old girl, whose parents were separated, had been placed in care and put in a children’s home. She had absconded and had gone to stay at Clarke’s flat in Mountbatten Court but had moved in with Mrs Hunt when she and Clarke became aware that social services were trying to find her.

Police officers looking for the girl went to Mrs Hunt’s flat in June last year and following that visit Clarke and the girl had accused Mrs Hunt of being a “grass.” In early August, the girl allegedly told a witness she and Clarke were holding Mrs Hunt hostage at Clarke’s flat and bragged about “beating her up.”

The trial, which is expected to last up to ten weeks, continues today.

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