Newmarket man Charles Jessop found guilty of murdering mother-of-two Clare Nash
A Newmarket man murdered his ex-girlfriend in front of her young son, a jury has found.
Charles Jessop, 29, was found guilty of murder at Ipswich Crown Court today after a eight week trial.
Jessop murdered mother-of-two Clare Nash at her Brickfields Avenue home on January 16 last year, where he stabbed her several times and then strangled her to death in front of her three-year-old son.
Jessop denied murdering Miss Nash, but pleaded guilty to her manslaughter. He claimed his state of mind was altered after taking anti-depressant Citalopram, and said at the time of the killing he felt like he was in a video game.
The jealous and controlling 29 year old, who is originally from Harlow and worked as a mechanic in Fordham, took a kitchen knife from his Bakers Row home that evening and cycled to her house in Studlands Park where he waited for her to return.
Standing in the witness box during the trial, he told the court he opened the front door. He then went inside, took out the kitchen knife, and began to stab her.
The court heard the harrowing 999 call made by her housemate Peter Claringbold made as she was being stabbed, in which call handlers could hear Jessop shout and scream abuse as he murdered the 33 year old.
At the time, Mr Claringbold was looking after Miss Nash’s toddler, who, on hearing his mother’s voice, had run to the door, the court was told.
“He said 'It’s Charlie, he’s got a knife, and he’s going to chop my mum’s head off,'" Mr Claringbold said.
The court heard that Miss Nash urged Jessop 'not in front of the child' after which she ended up in the downstairs toilet with him.
Mr Claringbold said he held up the phone to the toilet door, which allowed the police to hear what was happening.
He said Jessop, who was a regular cocaine user, told Miss Nash: “You are going to die. You are not going to do another line of cocaine again.”
A bloodstained Jessop was found by police officers inside her downstairs bathroom with her lifeless body, and he was arrested at the scene.
In the months leading up to her murder Jessop had bombarded her with telephone calls and texts, which only got worse as he became suspicious and jealous regarding Miss Nash’s new relationship with Barry Petrie.
Jessop will be handed his sentence next month, on July 16.
After the trial Brian Nash, her father, said his daughter would be hugely missed by her family and friends.
"While nothing will return Clare to us, the emotional burden has been lessened knowing justice has been served,” he said. “She was deeply, deeply loved and will be missed by her family and friends.”
And DI Matthew Connick, senior investigating officer, said: “This was a vicious, pre-meditated and unprovoked attack on Clare Nash by Charles Jessop so it is satisfying to see the jury found him guilty of this horrific act.”
Miss Nash had told police officers that he had been harassing her, the trial was told, on a number of occasions. Miss Nash had even let police call operators hear him scream and shout at her down the phone.
And the Independent Office for Police Conduct is now set to re-open its investigation into Suffolk Police
“We decided to independently investigate as there had been contact between Suffolk Constabulary police officers and Clare Nash in the days before her death. However, our investigation was paused while ongoing criminal proceedings took place,” a spokesman said.
“Once those proceedings have concluded the IOPC investigation will resume.”