Woman was treated like slave by murder accused, court hears

IPSWICH: An Ipswich woman was “treated like a slave” by a man accused of murdering her, it has been alleged.

Karl Knopp told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that Paul Clarke would make 41-year-old Rosalyn Hunt clean up and cook his dinner and would shout at her if she didn’t do as she was told.

He claimed that Clarke would then encourage a 15-year-old girl, who is also accused of murdering Mrs Hunt, to “slap her about” and hit her.

Asked by prosecution counsel Patricia Lynch QC to describe how Clarke treated Mrs Hunt, Mr Knopp replied “He treated her like she was a slave.”

He claimed that shortly before Mrs Hunt, of Victoria Street, Ipswich died, he saw her at Clarke’s flat in Mountbatten Court, Ipswich and noticed that she was “battered and bruised”.

While he was at the flat he allegedly heard Clarke accuse Mrs Hunt of hitting his dog and claimed he saw Clarke hit Mrs Hunt across the chest with a dog chain and then jump on her feet.

Mr Knopp said the 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named because of her age, and Clarke had then left the flat after allegedly locking the doors.

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Mr Knopp claimed that he and Mrs Hunt escaped through a window and went back to his house.

He claimed that later in the day Clarke and the 15-year-old girl had come looking for Mrs Hunt and she had agreed to go with the girl after hearing that Clarke’s dog had attacked a child and he was worried it might be put down.

Mr Knopp told Mrs Hunt he would see her later to check she was all right but had got no reply when he called at her flat and at Clarke’s flat.

Clarke, 41, the 15-year-old girl and John Grimwood, 28, of Canham Street, Ipswich have all denied murdering Mrs Hunt in August last year.

Clarke and the girl have also denied murdering 43-year-old Des Thorpe, whose body was found in a flat in Limerick Close, Ipswich on August 10 last year. It has been alleged that he was killed because he threatened to tell police what had happened to Mrs Hunt.

The trial continues today.

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