Lonely fantasist admits faking threats

A JUDGE today blasted a fantasist who said he received death threats for talking to police about the Ipswich red-light killings as “a sad and stupid man”.

A JUDGE today blasted a fantasist who said he received death threats for talking to police about the Ipswich red-light killings as “a sad and stupid man”.

Police time waster Andrew Purdy diverted vital resources from the search for those responsible for the deaths of five sex workers in Ipswich at the height of the county's biggest ever manhunt.

Today Purdy, 44, confessed to wasting police time when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

District Judge David Cooper branded his lies as “morally wrong” and threatened to send him to jail when he returns for sentencing.

He said: “To my mind you are a sad and stupid man. You obviously derive satisfaction by drawing attention to yourself to compensate for your own inadequacies.

“What you did was morally wrong. Your fantasising has wasted thousands of pounds.”

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The court heard that Purdy, who claimed to have known some of the killings victims and said he was a friend to other prostitutes, had contacted the police 27 times during December last year and January.

His claims ranged from receiving threats that his house would be firebombed to claiming that he was nearly run off the road by a man who then threatened to kill him.

Andrea Reynolds, prosecuting, said: “This was a time when police resources were very much diverted into the murders.

“Resources were stretched to the limit.”

Fifty hours of police time were spent investigating Purdy's fictitious claims, a panic alarm was installed in his former home in Holbrook, and £181 was spent putting him up in the Holiday Inn in London Road, Ipswich, on two separate occasions.

Miss Reynolds said he had been “one of many” witnesses who gave statements to police in the wake of the killings.

But she said on December 19 he made a statement to police that while driving a Land Rover Freelander hire care near Wrabness railway station in Essex someone had driven a car into his.

He claimed to have been warned: “Do not go home or we will firebomb it. Do not go home or we will kill you.”

The following day, he claimed to have received a text message while in Ipswich Hospital which read: “We know you are in the hospital. The next time you are there you will not be in a ward, you will be in the morgue.”

On January 1, after previously reporting a threat that his house would be firebombed, Purdy claimed to receive a call on his mobile from a caller with a Caribbean accent who said: “Tonight is the night that Holbrook will have a bonfire and you will be in the middle of it.”

Purdy, who moved to Suffolk from Bristol and now lives in Lower Street, Baylham, also claimed that his Land Rover had been tampered with and at one stage nearly caused him to veer into a truck on the A14 at Haughley Bends.

Miss Reynolds told the court that when police checked Purdy's mobile phone records they found he had never received the threatening calls.

His story was further questioned when an officer saw him walking along the B1456 between Holbrook and Wherstead, just hours after he claimed several cars had tried to run him over on the same road.

He said one of the cars, which he said were driven by the same man, had hit him, causing an injury to his right arm. Yet the officer saw him walking along talking on his mobile phone - which was being held in his right arm.

After being warned he may go to jail, Purdy, who says he is a property developer, told The Evening Star he was sorry for wasting police time and added: “It was just loneliness.”

He will be sentenced on April 2 and was released on unconditional bail.

The bodies of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nichols, 29, were found in rural locations near Ipswich between December 2 and December 12.

Steve Wright, 48, of London Road, Ipswich, has been charged with the murders of all five women. He is due to reappear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 1.

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