Fears for body-in-boot accused

A CLOSE friend of body-in-the-boot murder accused Robert McCarry today told how she feared for his well-being on remand in Norwich prison.Debbie Birch, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, said she was also speaking out to give a balanced view of the 35-year-old, who is one of two men accused of strangling Nicola West.

A CLOSE friend of body-in-the-boot murder accused Robert McCarry today told how she feared for his well-being on remand in Norwich prison.

Debbie Birch, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, said she was also speaking out to give a balanced view of the 35-year-old, who is one of two men accused of strangling Nicola West.

The body of the 34-year-old, of Leather Bottle Hill, Little Blakenham, was found in the boot of a Ford Escort after it had been driven to Ipswich police station car park on February 10.

McCarry, of Vernon Street, Ipswich, and Paul Waters, 28, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, are charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

Mrs Birch said she and her husband Derrick are close friends of McCarry believes some of the details which have emerged about him had portrayed him unfairly. She is also concerned about his state of mind.

The 38-year-old said: “I do not believe Robert is a murderer. I do not think he's not capable of cold-hearted murder.

Most Read

“I'm surprised he has not tried suicide yet. It's not something beyond consideration. If he does not get the right people and support he doesn't seem to be able to pick himself up again.”

Mrs Birch, whose mobility is limited due to arthritis and other health problems, said she was distraught when she heard about Miss West's death and McCarry's subsequent arrest.

“I cried when I found out, but I'm prepared to stand by him as a friend either way. It's a terrible, terrible thing that happened. I think it is appalling her life has gone.”

Mr and Mrs Birch met McCarry, who has been married three times, around seven years ago through his second wife Lucy, when he moved in with her in Station Street, Ipswich, where the Birches also lived.

Although the marriage eventually fell apart the Birches continued their friendship with McCarry.

Mrs Birch said: “Friends are friends, not for who can offer the best deal, but because of the whole package.

“Robert would always help me, because I'm not always fully able to move. If we were short of money he would be there for us. If we were short of food he had several jobs in the catering trade and he would brings us packages home.”

Mrs Birch added that when she found life difficult, McCarry would always lend a hand. “Robert would cook, take the bins out and take me into town and back again. He was always there for us and we were always there for him.”

BODY-in-the-boot murder accused Robert McCarry has told of his frustration in prison after being remanded for allegedly killing Nicola West.

In a letter to his friends Debbie and Derrick Birch of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, McCarry also wrote about his anger over the image painted of him since he and his co-accused Paul Waters were arrested.

McCarry wrote:

“Hi Ya

How's you two doing then? - Cool I hope! I am ok, I guess you have seen my fame in all the national and local press, that I am in jail for murder after having a body in the boot of Paul's car for two days. We are jointly charged. It will probably be August/September before we go on trial though.

Everyone has taken it badly.

Jail is so ******* boring, banged up 24/7 just watching TV and writing letters. He (Paul) is banged up with me.

Anyway just thought Id' let you know I'm ok.

Love Rob”

McCarry also said Waters was coping well with prison life. However, McCarry told Mrs Birch he felt a lot of the things which had been said in the press by those he knew reflected badly on him.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter