Missing man talked of hopes for future

A TOP Suffolk sportsman who went missing in France four months ago spoke of his hopes of getting back together with a former wife just days before his disappearance, The Evening Star has learned.

A TOP Suffolk sportsman who went missing in France four months ago spoke of his hopes of getting back together with a former wife just days before his disappearance, The Evening Star has learned.

Christopher Lipscombe, a 60-year-old former county champion at tennis and squash, disappeared from his home in a mountainous village near the town of Carcassonne, in the south of France, on December 11.

Leo Kingston, who moved to France around the same time as Mr Lipscombe, told The Evening Star his friend of 20 years had been in contact with his second wife Jane, who lives in Suffolk, in the months leading up to his disappearance.

Mr Kingston, 63, who lives around four hours' drive north of Carcassonne in Sousceyrac, said: “We knew he was in contact with his ex-wife but two days before he disappeared he told me they were going to get back together.

“They hadn't made any concrete arrangements because he was in France and she was in the UK but they were discussing it.”

Mr Kingston said that Mr Lipscombe had also been speaking to Jehovas Witnesses on a number of occasions in the months leading up to his disappearance.

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He said: “It was quite surprising and out of character because he is not particularly religious.

“I have spoken to the people he was in contact with but they have been unable to cast any light on the situation.”

Despite it now being four months since Mr Lipscombe was last seen Mr Kingston says he believed his friend was still alive.

He said: “There's nothing that would lead me to believe he would do anything silly and I can't think of a reason why he would be assaulted or abducted.

“It is all completely out of character. I spoke to him on the Friday night before he disappeared and he was seemingly quite happy.

“He was due to come to ours to celebrate his 60th birthday and Christmas but didn't give any clue he wouldn't be coming.

“It is all very strange.”

French police are continuing to investigate the disappearance.

Anyone who thinks they may have information about Mr Lipscombe's whereabouts is asked to contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

Do you know Christopher Lipscombe? Do you want to send a message of support to his family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Christopher Lipscombe's disappearance:

Fears were triggered about Mr Lipscombe's whereabouts when he did not show up to take a friend to Carcassonne airport.

Police immediately arranged search parties to scour the mountainous area around his home.

Mr Lipscombe, who has been living alone in France since retiring two years ago, has two grown-up children with his first wife.

Born in Felixstowe, he has spent much of his life in Ipswich and worked for a period as a policeman in Lowestoft.

He is former a county squash and tennis champion, a top golfer and was ranked the number one table tennis player in Suffolk at under-18 level.