Police re-open murder inquiry after 15 years

Police
Police

Detectives investigating the high profile murder of a man who was killed nearly 15-years-ago in Uppingham are making a renewed appeal for information.

A familiar figure in the Uppingham area, the brutal murder of Clifford Clarke shocked the community when he was found dead in his flat, off High Street, Uppingham in 2000 on Sunday, September 10. He had been stabbed several times to his chest and neck.

Clifford Clarke EMN-150625-101127001

Clifford Clarke EMN-150625-101127001

No-one has ever been charged with his murder. Numerous people have been arrested in connection with his death over the years, but all were released with no further action.

Detective Sergeant Kev Burdett, who is working on the case said: “This murder took place nearly 15 years ago. Clifford was well known around the town, often visiting the green near his home. To locals he was known as Shaky, due to his shaky appearance caused by an illness.

“Since then time has moved on, people have grown up and allegiances between friends will have broken down.

“I believe those who were living in Uppingham at the time of the offence hold the key to us finding who is responsible for Mr Clarke’s death.

“You may not have felt able to speak out about it at the time - maybe you were protecting someone, or didn’t think it was appropriate to contact us about someone you knew or were close to.

“Time has moved on and friendships have changed, you could have pushed it to the back of your mind, thought it no longer mattered. It does, we need to know what you know.

“Contact us so we can bring those responsible to justice.”

It was Clifford Clarke’s brother who found him dead in his first floor flat in Uppingham, just two days after his 56th birthday. Police said it had been a frenzied and violent attack.

When he was discovered he was wearing blue jeans, a pink T-shirt, a green “Army-style” jumper and black trainers.

Mr Clarke was white, 5ft 10in, with short, dark, unkempt hair. He was of a gaunt appearance and un-shaven.

He had worked as a plumber and a hospital porter but was not working at the time of his death. He was described as a man who loved the outdoors and was often spotted walking around the town or at the post office.

At the time Mr Clarke’s family put forward a reward of £1,000 for information but to no avail.

Police also trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV and interviewed people in connection with the incident.

At Mr Clarke’s inquest, a year later, the coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. He said Mr Clarke’s body could have been there for between two and four days before it was discovered.

Shortly after Mr Clarke’s death detectives revealed they had found three pieces of evidence which they believed were significant to the inquiry. They were a small vegetable knife with ‘Made in Japan’ on the blade and some keys on a chain. Both were found in a drain about a quarter of a mile from Mr Clarke’s home.

A shoe print was also found in the blood in his flat.

Anyone with any information regarding this brutal crime is asked to contact police on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.