Clare Nash: Suffolk mum-of-two 'called police two days before' being murdered by ex Charles Jessop

Clare Nash was murdered by Charles Jessop
Credit: Suffolk Police/Family photo
Clare Nash was murdered by Charles Jessop in January 2020. Credit: Family picture

A mother-of-two murdered by her abusive ex-partner had warned police he was harassing her two days before he strangled and stabbed her to death, an inquest heard.

Clare Nash told police she had received 44 missed calls from Charles Jessop on 14 January 2020, and was concerned that he might turn up at her home in Suffolk and attack her as he had several times before.

In a recording of the call played to the jury, police advised the 33-year-old to lock all her doors and windows and call 999 if he did come to her house.

Two days later she was murdered by Jessop, who lay in wait for Ms Nash at her home in Brickfields Avenue in Newmarket, before stabbing her until his knife broke, and then strangling her.

The inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court also heard from witnesses giving evidence of other attacks carried out by Jessop before he killed Ms Nash.

His former housemate Sean Jackson described how the relationship between the couple had got worse over a number of weeks.

He told of one night in late December 2019 when Jessop said he was going to kill Ms Nash, and of another time when he was looking for knives shouting he was going to kill her. 

Charles Jessop must serve at least 30 years. Credit: Suffolk Police

Ms Nash's housemate Peter Claringbold said he had seen bruising on her and had called the police several times after incidents.

He told the inquest there was often "shouting and screaming". He added: "He was harassing her and Clare was very worried."

Mr Claringbold said he thought the police had not helped Ms Nash, seeming more concerned about Jessop’s mental health.

On the day she was murdered, police came round took a statement and assessed the risk as medium, he said.

He recounted details of the murder itself, and how he had taken Ms Nash's son away as Jessop threatened her, telling her: "You're going to die".

She pleaded "not in front of my son", said Mr Claringbold.

Brickfields Avenue in Newmarket, where Clare Nash was murdered. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Jessop, of Bakers Row in the town denied Ms Nash's murder but was convicted following a two-month-long trial in July 2021.

He was sentenced to life in prison last year and must serve a minimum of 30 years before he can be considered for release.

'A loving and caring mother'

The jury also heard statements from Ms Nash's daughter Rachel and her father Brian.

Her daughter said: "Jessop was not a nice person. I think Jessop murdered Mum because she was moving on. If he couldn’t have her then no one could.

"Mum was loving and caring. She would do anything and everything for anyone. 

"Every morning I wake up knowing I won’t be able to see my mum again because she tried to get out of a toxic relationship and it breaks my heart."

Ms Nash's father spoke of "the beautiful girl full of life and vibrance", in a statement read by a lawyer.

"She had a great sense of humour – she would laugh at anything especially herself," he wrote.

"Despite everything she was a great mum – who loved her children with every sinew of her body."

The inquest is expected to last 10 days with the jury being offered guidance by the coroner into looking at how the police dealt with the case in the run up to Ms Nash's murder.

They have been instructed to examine the police response to reports of domestic violence and risk of domestic violence, and whether risk assessments were conducted and followed by police.

They were also told to determine what follow-up action was taken and conclude whether Ms Nash's death was preventable or not.