Man charged with murder of dog walker Claire Knights in Kent

Claire Knights, 54, is believed to have been walking her white and brown spaniel, Zebulon, when she went missing. Credit: Kent Police

A man has been charged with the murder of a dog walker who was found dead in Kent.

Claire Knights, 54, from Upstreet, near Canterbury, was reported a high-risk missing person on Wednesday 23 August.

The artist was found dead in an area between St Nicholas-at-Wade and Minnis Bay two days later on 25 August.

Harrison Lawrence-van Pooss, 20, from Margate, was charged with murder on Monday, (18 September) and appeared via videolink at Medway Magistrates’ Court.

He was also charged with voyeurism, following an investigation into a separate incident when “upskirt” images of a woman were covertly taken on 22 August in Birchington, Kent.

Lawrence-van Pooss was remanded to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday. (20 September)

The body of 54-year-old Claire Knights was found between St Nicholas-at-Wade and Minnis Bay, Kent. Credit: ITV Meridian

It is believed Ms Knights had been walking her white and brown spaniel, Zebulon, from the village to the Minnis Bay area of Birchington, when she was last seen.

A statement released by Kent Police said: “Claire was a loving mum, partner, daughter and sister.

"An amazing contemporary artist, a trailblazer in life.

“She loved animals and in particular her springer spaniel, Zebulon.

“We, the family, are struggling to come to terms with the fact she is no longer with us.

"We wish to thank friends and the community for their active support and kind words.”

Art school The Margate School also paid tribute to Ms Knights, saying: “She was an outstanding and exceptional artist, whose work reflected her complex, loving nature.

“Her sculptural work had elements of humour and wit alongside the determination.”

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