Inquest into death at Whitemoor Prison of double murderer Paul Clarke expected to last at least two days, hearing told

Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke - Credit: Archant

An inquest into the death of a double murderer found dead at Whitemoor Prison, March, is expected to last at least two days, it was decided today.

Paul Clarke, 46, was found unresponsive in his cell at Whitemoor on September 1 last year with a ligature round his neck.

Today’s hearing, at the South Fens Business Centre in Chatteris, agreed a list of witnesses to be called at the full inquest, which will be held sometime in the next six months at Huntingdon. Those expected to give evidence will largely include prison staff.

Coroner William Morris, who is set to retire shortly, suggested the inquest, which will be heard with a jury, will last at least two days but could roll-over into a third day.

Clarke was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in 2010 for the murder of Desmond Thorpe, 43, and Rosalyn Hunt, 41, in Ipswich in August 2009.

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He was jailed alongside Lorraine Thorpe, who was just 15 when she killed her dad and her dad’s girlfriend in separate incidents.

Ms Hunt was beaten to death in Ipswich over several days, with Thorpe responsible for kicking, punching and stamping on her head, their trial heard.

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Mr Thorpe a “vulnerable” alcoholic was smothered amid fears that he would tell the police about the first murder.

During Thorpe’s sentencing - when she received life with a minimum of 14 years behind bars - Clarke was described by a judge as the “instigator” of Ms Hunt’s murder, although Thorpe “played a full part”.

A total of 225 inmates died in jail in 2013/14, according to the Ministry of Justice, compared to 181 in the same period the previous year. This was the highest number since 2005.

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