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£20,000 reward in UK murder case from 1985


A £20,000 reward is offered in connection with a violent murder that occurred more than 30 years ago, in November 1985. The victim, Clara Kirton, aged 86, was found dead in her home, with her throat slashed, and despite detectives’ efforts, no one was brought before the courts.

Despite many inquiries over the years her murder has never been solved, but detectives are hopeful the offer of a £20,000 reward may now encourage someone to come forward. According to the Metropolitan Police, the substantial amount of money is available for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of Clara’s killer.

Woman murder

Clara’s body was found by her youngest son Brian, then aged 42, in the lounge of her ground floor flat, on 17 November 1985. He immediately alerted his sister Joyce and her husband and they called police and an ambulance. It was obvious she had been the victim of an extremely vicious attack; she had a number of wounds to her face and massive slash injuries to her throat. A post-mortem examination found she died from inhalation of blood and crush injuries to her face and neck.

The broken remnants of a beer bottle – believed to be the murder weapon – were found strewn around the lounge. Drawers in the lounge and bedroom had been opened and searched but the only thing stolen – despite the fact she had £700 elsewhere in her flat – was Clara’s red purse containing a small amount of cash.

“Clara’s son had the horrific shock of discovering not only his mother’s body inside her flat but also that she had clearly been the victim of a ferocious attack. That memory has, of course, been impossible to erase and the only small amount of comfort he and the rest of Clara’s family might gain is from the conviction of the person who did this,” Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, from the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team, said.

Clara was a widow and had four children and 26 grandchildren. She was frail, in the early stages of dementia and suffered diabetes. She relied heavily upon Brian who visited every day plus help from a meal delivery service and a district nurse.

Clara’s son Brian, now aged 74, said his mother was a wonderful lady, always friendly and happy to talk to people despite her poor health.

“Finding her like that was just awful. I still can’t believe someone could do that to my gentle loving mum. Those feelings are only made worse by the fact that no one has been caught for her murder,” Brian said in a statement made public by the Metropolitan Police.

John Michaelle

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