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Ipswich: Double murderer Paul Clarke found dead in his cell in Cambridgeshire prison

PUBLISHED: 09:25 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:25 02 September 2014

Double murderer Paul Clarke

Double murderer Paul Clarke

Archant

A man has been found dead in prison, four years after he was jailed for life for killing a man and woman from Ipswich.

Paul Clarke, 46, was found by staff in his cell at HMP Whitemoor, a category A prison in March, Cambridgeshire, just before 6.30am yesterday.

Paramedics were called but he died at the scene, the Prison Service said.

Clarke was serving life with a minimum term of 27 years after he was convicted of murdering Desmond Thorpe, 43, and Rosalyn Hunt, 41, in Ipswich in August 2009.

He was jailed in 2010 alongside Lorraine Thorpe, who was just 15 when she killed her dad and her dad’s girlfriend with Clarke in separate incidents.

Ms Hunt was beaten to death in Ipswich over several days, with Thorpe responsible for kicking, punching and stamping on her head, their trial heard.

Mr Thorpe a “vulnerable” alcoholic, was smothered amid fears that he would tell the police about the first murder.

During Thorpe’s sentencing - when she received life with a minimum of 14 years behind bars - Clarke was described by a judge as the “instigator” of Ms Hunt’s murder, although Thorpe “played a full part”.

She had been influenced by Clarke, the “dominant” member of a group of heavy drinkers, and had been keen to impress him, Mr Justice Saunders added.

A Prison Service spokesman said last night: “HMP Whitemoor prisoner Paul Clarke was found unresponsive in his cell by staff on Monday September 1. Paramedics attended but he was pronounced dead shortly before 6.30am.

“As with all deaths in custody, the Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

The number of prisoners who died in custody jumped by nearly a quarter in the year to March to reach its highest level for almost a decade.

A total of 225 inmates died in jail in 2013/14, according to the Ministry of Justice, compared to 181 in the same period the previous year. This was the highest number since 2005.

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Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

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