A former trainee jockey who was compared in court to “a ticking time bomb” faces life in prison for the sadistic murder of his ex-girlfriend.
Charles Jessop, 29, attacked Clare Nash, 33, in a ‘cruel and cowardly’ attack on her doorstep in Newmarket, Suffolk, in front of her three-year-old son after waiting for her to return home.
An Ipswich Crown Court judge heard the terrified youngster yell: ‘It’s Charlie, he’s got a knife and he’s going to chop off my mother’s head’.
Miss Nash was eventually dragged downstairs to her bathroom by knife-wielding Jessop after telling him, “Not in front of the kid.”
She was then stabbed several times before Jessop’s blade broke and he continued his attack by strangling her behind the closed door.
Jurors heard a distressing phone call from her roommate Peter Claringbold, who had been caring for her son.
Charles Jessop (pictured), 29, attacked Clare Nash, 33, in a ‘cruel and cowardly’ attack on her doorstep in Newmarket, Suffolk, in front of her three-year-old son after waiting for her to return home
Mr. Claringbold held his phone to the bathroom door so the operators could hear Jessop yell, “You’re going to die” as he stabbed Miss Nash at her house.
Jessop van Newmarket had denied murder but was found guilty on Wednesday after an eight-week trial. He was remanded in custody on July 16.
Jurors heard how furious he was when she refused to go back to him and started dating another man.
Jessop was arrested at the home of the mother of two within minutes of the attack as she lay dying on January 16 last year. He repeatedly told officers, “I won.”
The court was told two days earlier he shouted in a bar: ‘I’m going to slit her throat because if I can’t have her, nobody will. I’m going to jail and make time for it.’
He bombarded her with “relentless” phone calls and messages before her death, sending her 95 text messages on Christmas Day in 2019 and another 174 over the next four days, threatening to kill herself if he didn’t see her.
She called the police three times in the six weeks before her death to report that he was threatening her, but she refused to give a statement against him.
A police officer gave her safety advice on the morning of Jan. 16 and ruled she was at “average risk” of domestic violence, prosecutor Mark Cotter said.
Later in the day, Jessop is said to have cycled to her house with a kitchen knife and waited for her.
Cotter described Jessop at the trial as an “incredibly dangerous” man with previous convictions for violence against women.
He added: “This defendant has been a ticking time bomb for years and years. It was just a question of what unlucky soul would stand in the way if it exploded.”
Cotter said Miss Nash had screamed during the attack that she was pregnant “in a desperate attempt to make him stop.”
But he added: “He mocked her for this and imitated her plea for mercy when he was arrested.”
Peter Claringbold, Miss Nash’s roommate, held his phone to the toilet door so operators could hear Jessop yell, “You’re going to die” as he stabbed Miss Nash (pictured)
An autopsy found she had not been pregnant but could not conclude whether she died of blood loss or strangulation.
When questioned by police the next day, Jessop claimed he suffered from anxiety and thought he was schizophrenic.
He described how he got angry and said, “Sometimes I can only deal with that by letting my anger out.”
But Jessop was later seen by a psychiatrist who stated there was no evidence that he had schizophrenia.
Instead, it was concluded that he had a form of personality disorder that “didn’t explain the murder,” Mr Cotter said.
In a later interview, he claimed that Miss Nash “played a lot of brain games.” When the police asked him to explain his actions, he replied, “Well done, no comment.”
Jessop pleaded guilty to manslaughter for diminished responsibility halfway through his trial.
He tried to argue that his behavior might have changed because of his repeated snorting of prescription antidepressants.
Jessop said he felt like he was in a video game similar to Grand Theft Auto on the day of the murder, with “a lifeline and stars” in his mind, symbolizing how much life he had left and how “wanted” he was. was by the police.
But Mr Cotter said Jessop was “simply enraged by Clare Nash’s firm rejection of his unwanted advances and further angered by her new relationship.”
He added: “That anger fueled by jealousy drove him to kill Clare Nash in a vicious, premeditated and cowardly attack in her home.”
The court heard how Jessop and Miss Nash began seeing each other in the second half of 2019, but the relationship began to fail in December and she began a new relationship with bar manager George Petrie in the new year.
Cotter said there was evidence that Jessop behaved “in an obsessive and controlling manner” for several months.
He said Miss Nash called the police on December 4, 2019 and told an officer present that Jessop punched her in the face, but she didn’t want to file a complaint.
A week later, on December 11, she called the police again during an argument with him in Soham, Cambridgeshire, but her phone’s battery was dead.
The court overheard Miss Nash then storming into an Indian restaurant and saying, “He’s going to kill me. Call the police.’
On January 14, 2020, she called the police for the third time to say she had received repeated threatening calls from him.
Officers couldn’t see her immediately due to “resourcing issues,” but she received security advice over the phone and said the calls had stopped.
An agent tried to speak to her the next day, leaving a voicemail message and a note at her address when she was not home.
She was then approached on the morning of Jan. 16, but declined to file a complaint, Mr Cotter said.
Suffolk Police Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Matthew Connick said: “This was a vicious, premeditated and unprovoked attack on Clare Nash by Charles Jessop, so it’s satisfying to see the jury found him guilty of this heinous crime.” deed.
“While justice is assured for Clare’s family, the investigative team is well aware that this will not bring Clare back to them and the pain of her death is still there.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this time and I would like to thank them for their support during the investigation and trial.”
Brian Nash, Miss Nash’s father, said, “While Clare won’t give us back, the emotional burden has eased, knowing justice has been served. She was very, very much loved and will be missed by her family and friends.
A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: ‘We have decided to conduct an independent investigation because there had been contact between Suffolk Constabulary officers and Clare Nash in the days before her death.
“However, our investigation was paused while ongoing criminal proceedings were underway. Once those procedures have been completed, the IOPC investigation will resume.’