Murder accused’s ‘Christian duty’ to help other people

IPSWICH: An Ipswich man accused of murdering two alcoholics felt he had a “Christian duty” to help people less fortunate than himself, a court has heard.

Gail Clarke, the sister of Paul Clarke who is on trial for the murders of 41-year-old Rosalyn Hunt and 43-year-old Des Thorpe, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that prior to the alleged killings, her brother had appeared to be becoming “more and more religious”.

“He felt it was his Christian duty to help those less fortunate than him,” said Miss Clarke, who works as a drug and alcohol counsellor for a charity.

She said that after Clarke moved into a flat in Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, she had visited him regularly to check on his welfare as he had a history of drug and alcohol problems.

She said that during these visits she had met a group of “street drinkers” he socialised with including Mrs Hunt and Mr Thorpe.

She said Clarke had told her that Mrs Hunt was somebody who needed help and support because she had an alcohol problem and that he was caring for Mr Thorpe who was homeless and also in need of support.

“Paul always seemed to attract those people who were vulnerable and had problems and needed support or needed somewhere to stay.

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“He would always try and support them in whatever way he could, doing his Christian duty. He seemed to be becoming more and more religious,” said Miss Clarke.

She described him as the “most functional of the dysfunctional” group he mixed with.

Clarke, 41, a 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named because of her age and John Grimwood, 28, of Canham Street, Ipswich have denied murdering Mrs Hunt in August last year. Her body was found in her flat in Victoria Street, Ipswich, after a worried neighbour contacted the police.

Clarke and the 15-year-old girl have also denied murdering Mr Thorpe on August 10. His body was found in a flat in Limerick Close, Ipswich.

It has been alleged that Mr Thorpe was killed because he threatened to tell the police what had happened to Mrs Hunt.

The trial continues today.

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