Remorseless killer who murdered older lover in brutal stabbing after she ended the relationship over age gap jailed

4 January 2023, 21:35 | Updated: 5 January 2023, 00:04

Clair Ablewhite was murdered by John Jessop after she broke off their relationship
Clair Ablewhite was murdered by John Jessop after she broke off their relationship. Picture: Nottingham Police

By Will Taylor

A man who murdered his older lover after she ended their brief relationship over their age gap has been jailed.

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John Jessop, 26, stabbed mother-of-three Clair Ablewhite, 47, in the neck and chest at her home in a Nottinghamshire village after she called it off.

Police described the attack as "brutal and relentless" and said her injuries were "catastrophic".

The two had been using a dating website and speaking over social media and WhatsApp and they shared an "intimate" relationship between September 2021 and February 2019.

But dog walker Clair was murdered after Jessop cycled 17 miles from his home in Newark to her home in Colston Bassett, leaving her body to be found by her father after her friend raised the alarm about her wellbeing.

Remorseless Jessop was drinking a pint after the murder as Clair's father began CPR on his daughter.

Jessop was tracked down after he was seen travelling to the home on CCTV.

Clair was killed in a brutal stabbing attack
Clair was killed in a brutal stabbing attack. Picture: Nottingham Police

He was jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday and must serve a minimum of 17 years and eight months for the murder.

Nottinghamshire Police's Detective Inspector Mel Crutchley said: "The contact ceased mainly due to concern over the age difference, and it was evident from the communication that he had been at her Colston Bassett address during the six weeks she had resided there.

"The neighbour played a major part in helping with our investigation by providing that first CCTV image of the killer and I would like to thank him personally for travelling home from France to help us bring Clair's killer to justice.

"It is also a timely reminder for people to think about who they interact with online and to ensure their safety is protected from violent and predatory people like Jessop."

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Jessop has been jailed for life
Jessop has been jailed for life. Picture: Nottingham Police

The detective said Jessop had shown no remorse for taking Clair's life, refused to speak to police during the interview and never offered an apology.

They had begun their relationship after Mrs Ablewhite's marriage of 28 years broke down.

But when Mrs Ablewhite decided to break off contact, Jessop refused to accept her choice and, on February 25, attacked her at her £450,000 home she had only recently moved into.

Read more: Horrifying moment man admits to shooting dead ex-partner after botched suicide attempt renders him unable to speak

Jessop was tracked via CCTV, having cycled to Mrs Ablewhite's home
Jessop was tracked via CCTV, having cycled to Mrs Ablewhite's home. Picture: Nottingham Police

He was tracked down after an 11-day manhunt. He had previously told friends over drinks that it "could be my last night out".

"The attack he inflicted on Clair was brutal and relentless, causing catastrophic injuries which finally led to her death," he added.

"At the same time that Clair's dad discovers his daughter's body and tries to provide CPR - Jessop is enjoying his first pint in a pub in Newark with mates.

"He has taken away a loving, caring, and outgoing mum, daughter, sister, and friend to many.

"Today's sentence will never bring back Clair, but it does mean that Jessop will spend a considerable part of his life behind prison bars, and I hope this gives her family some comfort."

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