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Man's relief after no charge in murder case

PUBLISHED: 11:19 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 July 2010

A Suffolk man who was arrested four months ago in connection with the murder of a pensioner has spoken of his relief after he was told by police that he would not be charged.

A Suffolk man who was arrested four months ago in connection with the murder of a pensioner has spoken of his relief after he was told by police that he would not be charged.

Retired thatcher Richard Clarke, 73, died on August 22 after being discovered outside his home in Cranley Green Road, Eye, by passerby Paul Arborn.

The 43-year-old, who was out on an early morning walk with his two dogs when he made the discovery, tried unsuccessfully to save the pensioner's life and ran back home to his partner, Doreen Bendall, who called the emergency services.

Despite his best efforts, Mr Clarke did not recover and a post mortem examination revealed he had suffered a head injury.

Treating the death as suspicious, police arrested Mr Arbon, a former recycling plant worker, later that day on suspicion of murder.

He was released on bail and was visited several times by police before the unemployed 43-year-old was told this week by detectives that no further action would be taken.

Mr Arbon, who lives a ten minute walk away from Mr Clarke's house, said it was a great relief to have the air of suspicion lifted, although his friends and family had never doubted him.

“I know they [the police] have got a job to do - I always had that at the back of my mind - but they got it wrong. I tried to save the guy's life. It was every day, hanging over me. I'm not like that - I'm the sort of guy that helps people.”

“I'm just glad it's all straightened out and I can look forward to Christmas now. I thought it was going to drag on and on because I kept getting bailed,” he said.

The lead detective in the murder investigation has said he is sure someone in Eye knows who is responsible.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Luckett, of the Suffolk and Norfolk Major Investigation Team, said cracking the “extremely unusual” case would require the vital input from people in the community.

“This is very much a live investigation and it is being investigated as a murder. Someone knows what happened to Richard Clarke - and what I want is for them to come and speak up,” he said.

Det Cheif Insp Luckett added that there were still “gaps” in the timeline of events leading up to the discovery of Mr Clarke on the morning of Saturday August 22. Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.


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