Suffolk

Suffolk Police criticised over 2009 Eye driveway murder case

Richard Clarke Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Richard Clarke died from head injuries after he was attacked on his driveway

The unsolved murder investigation into the death of a man who was attacked on his driveway has been criticised by those who saw him last.

Retired thatcher Richard Clarke, 73, was found with a head injury in Eye, Suffolk, on 22 August 2009. His killer has never been found.

John Longhorn, the landlord of the pub where he had been the day before, said the police probe was "poor".

Suffolk Police said it was a "thorough investigation".

Image caption Mr Clarke had been drinking at The Horseshoes Pub the day before he died

Father-of-two Mr Clarke had been to The Horseshoes pub in Billingford, Norfolk, with his friend Graham Borrill on 21 August.

He left in a taxi but stopped to pick up a Chinese meal in Eye at about 19:00 BST.

Police said he arrived at his Cranley Green Road home 15 minutes later and a witness saw a man, believed to be Mr Clarke, holding his head on his driveway at 20:00.

Mr Clarke was found with a head injury the next morning and taken to hospital where he later died.

Police said they believed he had been attacked due to the injuries he sustained.

Image caption A witness saw a man, thought to be Mr Clarke, sat on his driveway holding his head

Mr Langhorn said: "The police went in the wrong direction, they seemed to spend a lot of time trying to find out about an altercation which apparently happened here but didn't.

"There were other aspects that they didn't investigate until too late."

Mr Borrill, who is also a thatcher, said "someone out there knows what happened".

He said: "I don't quite understand why the police stopped pursuing it.

"To end your days like that is dreadful and what's even worse is for it not to be solved."

Suffolk Police said the case was led by its major investigation team from the outset and was subject to a review by a neighbouring police force.

A man was arrested soon after Mr Clarke's death but he was later released without charge.

A Crimestoppers appeal in 2010 also offered a £10,000 reward for information regarding his death.

Image caption A Crimestoppers appeal in 2010 offered a £10,000 reward

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