Paula's death devastated partner
A DESPERATE mother today told of her son's spiral into drug dependency following the murder of his ex-girlfriend - vice girl Paula Clennell. Heroin addict Elton Norris was last week jailed for three months after he admitted fleeing the scene of a crash, and failing to keep a string of appointments with the probation service.
A DESPERATE mother today told of her son's spiral into drug dependency following the murder of his ex-girlfriend - vice girl Paula Clennell.
Heroin addict Elton Norris was last week jailed for three months after he admitted fleeing the scene of a crash, and failing to keep a string of appointments with the probation service.
Magistrates heard how his crippling £20-a-day hard drug habit had left him jobless and in urgent need of help to turn his life around.
Today, his worried mum, Anita Kidstanton, claimed the 34-year-old had previously managed to overcome his addictions.
But she said he reverted to using drugs in a bid to ease the pain of his loss following the murder of ex-partner Ms Clennell in December 2006.
“When Paula was murdered he slipped straight back into drugs,” said Ms Kidstanton, of Shannon Road, Ipswich.
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“Before that, he had gone for months without taking anything.
“He needs desperate help because he can't get over Paula dying. He has lost his ex-partner and he just can't cope with it.
“I'm frightened for Elton. I have tried to help him, but I don't know what I can do anymore.
“Elton is like a lost soul in a sea of sharks.”
Norris and Ms Clennell, 24, were together for several years, living together for a period with Ms Kidstanton.
But as their addiction to substances deepened and their relationship fractured, the pair agreed to separate.
While Norris managed to wean himself off drugs, Ms Clennell could not, eventually turning to prostitution to earn the cash to pay for her next fix.
Ms Kidstanton, who works with children with learning difficulties, said: “I went everywhere to get Elton and Paula help. Neither of them are to blame for any of this, though. Drugs are a crutch.”
She continued: “Elton needs locking away, but not in prison.
“He will only get so much help in prison but then he has to walk out and carry on with the rest of his life.
“I'm worried he's going to end up killing himself.”
Ms Kidstanton said her son and Ms Clennell had remained close even after their separation.
“Paula and Elton were still friends when she was murdered,” she said. “He still loved her as a person.”
While the families of the red light killings victims received help in coming to terms with their loss, Ms Kidstanton said she and her son had been left to deal with their pain alone.
“The relatives of the girls got help, but because we were not Paula's actual family, we didn't.
“But I loved her like a daughter - and now it feels like we don't matter.”
Ms Clennell, Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were taken from the streets of Ipswich in late 2006 and murdered by forklift driver Steve Wright, 49.
Wright, who dumped their naked bodies in remote rural locations on the outskirts of Ipswich, is currently serving life for the five killings.
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The court case:
ELTON Norris admitted crashing a car he had taken without the owner's consent before fleeing the scene of the accident.
The 34-year-old smashed his new partner's Peugeot 106 into a Mercedes and then reversed into a Ford Mondeo as he made his getaway.
South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how the crime had been aggravated because a four-month-old baby was a passenger inside the Mercedes.
Norris, formerly of Ipswich, did not have a license or insurance, either.
Justices heard how Norris had a significant drug habit - but was trying to turn his life around.
The incident took place in Ipswich on November 21 last year.
Norris, of The Grand, Folkestone, also admitted breaching a community order handed to him after he made false representations to claim benefits.
The court was told he had eight previous convictions for theft matters.
Ian Duckworth, mitigating, said his client was “honest” about his drug dependency.
“He says he needs rehab if he's going to get anywhere,” he said.
“This is a crossroads for him. But he's not a prolific offender and he's no great danger to the public at large.”
Mr Duckworth said the defendant was currently out of work, but was hopeful of securing a job as a carer.
Norris was jailed for a total of 98 days and was given a 12-month driving ban.
Matthew March, chairman of the bench, told him: “Only custody is appropriate.
“These are serious matters.”
Somebody's Daughter: offering young people a way out of drug addiction
Following the murder of five women, The Somebody's Daughter appeal was launched in conjunction with Ipswich Borough Council.
As a legacy to the women, and in a bid to prevent others from walking in their desperate footsteps, the appeal was given a mandate of helping vulnerable young people in Ipswich.
The ultimate goal is to raise enough money to open a safe house where those embroiled in prostitution and drugs can seek support and guidance.
Among the trustees of the Somebody's Daughter appeal, a registered charity, are Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks, borough council leader Liz Harsant and Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover.
Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eveningstar.co.uk, in person at Ipswich Borough Council's customer service centre in the Town Hall, by calling 01473 433777, or by sending a cheque, made payable to Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund, to PO Box 772, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.