Sunday, December 17, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Strangler victim's client was top cop

MURDERED Paula Clennell is pointing the finger at a senior policeman punter from beyond the grave, the News of the World can reveal.

The officer — who works for a neighbouring constabulary — was a regular client to her AND one of the Suffolk Strangler's other victims.

Paula 24, volunteered the information to detectives shortly before her death when she was quizzed over two fellow hookers.

At the time Gemma Adams was dead and Tania Nichol was missing.

An insider told us: "The detectives asked Paula to list her clients. She told them that one of her regulars was a senior police officer with another force who she shared with one of the other girls.

"She revealed that she visited him at a house in Suffolk.

"Irrespective of what this man does for a living, this is now an active line of inquiry.

"He won't be treated any differently because of who he is. This is a murder investigation."

Paula was known to regularly pair up with other girls to entertain clients. Last night, Suffolk police refused to deny that they were actively investigating the officer.

A spokesman said: "We are interested in speaking to anyone who may have had contact with any of the victims."

And Det Chief Supt Stewart Gull, who is heading the investigation into the murder of the five Ipswich prostutes, told us: "Regardless of whether he's a police officer, I am not going to be drawn on a particular individual.

"We are looking at a number of interesting individuals and that's my line."

A spokesman for the force where the client is allegedly based said: "If there is a police officer who has had any contact with any of the victims it is their professional responsibilty to come forward and we would ask that they do so at their earliest opportunity."

Paula was filmed by a TV company on December 5 as she continued to walk the streets in the red light district of Ipswich even though the body of Gemma had already been found and Tania was missing. She told ITV Anglia: "I need the money. But I am a bit wary about getting into cars."

Our source said: "Paula clearly went with the killer knowing a murderer was on the loose so it is likely she was familiar with the punter."

It is possible that the girls — all addicts — were given drugs to render them powerless. Toxicology tests are being carried out on all five bodies.

Meanwhile detectives have released poignant CCTV footage of the last time vice girl Anneli Alderton, 24, was seen alive.

The grainy 1 min 59 seconds video was taken on a train at approximately 6pm between Harwich and Colchester on December 3 and there were no sightings of her after that.

Seven days later her body was found in woods at Nacton near Ipswich — the third to be discovered. She was three months pregnant. Det Ch Supt Gull said: "We need to piece together Anneli's movements after this. At what stage did Anneli get off the train? And where did she go after that? If anyone saw Anneli after Sunday December 3 we want to hear from them."

Almost childlike, Anneli looks excited as her train nears a station. Seemingly alone she uses the dark windows as mirrors and preens and poses as if getting ready for a night out.

She is dressed in blue jeans, a black zipped anorak with fur-lined hood and grey top. She carries a nylon tie-up bag. Unaware of the camera, she delves into the bag and pulls out a tatty Aldi carrier, from which she grabs a can of hairspray and brush.

No comments: