Jailed for life: York man behind bars for ‘callous’ murder

19 Oct 2020 @ 4.30 pm
| Crime

A man who thought he had got away with murder for 13 years has been jailed for life.

David Roustoby was handed down the sentence at Leeds Crown Court today (Monday).

Judge Goss described it as a “a cowardly, callous crime” – and said he will have to serve a minimum of 19 years before applying for parole.

Roustoby, 45, of Rawcliffe Lane, York, was found guilty of the murder of David Clarke by a unanimous jury verdict last Friday.

Mr Clarke, 43, of Huntington Road, was found in the River Foss near Towthorpe in April 2007.

Following new information coming to light in 2019, a fresh investigation was launched and David Roustoby was arrested and charged with murder in April.

His former girlfriend Sharron Roustoby, 50, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender earlier this year, and she was sentenced today to two years and eight months.

Deceit and lies

Sharron Roustoby

The court heard how David Roustoby and Mr Clarke lived in flats in the same Huntington Road building.

Roustoby lured Mr Clarke to his home, plied him with alcohol and diazepam, and strangled him with a tie on April 17, 2007.

With Sharron Roustoby, now 50, of Rowntree Avenue, he took the body and dumped it in the Foss from Towthorpe Bridge north of York.

The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Inspector Nichola Holden, said she was pleased with the sentencing.

“Despite all his deceit and lies for the past 13 years, Roustoby was not able to hide any longer and he is now behind bars where he belongs.

“Sharron’s fabrications around what happened and her assisting of Roustoby means she, too, has rightly been brought to justice and handed this sentence.

“It is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the investigation team that Roustoby was put before the courts so long after the murder, leaving nothing untouched and an exemplary investigation throughout.”

Det Insp Holden also paid tribute to Mr Clarke’s loved ones.

“I also want to thank David Clarke’s family for their patience, support and understanding throughout this investigation.

“They have waited too long to find out the truth about what happened to David, and I am pleased we were finally able to unearth that truth and make sure the man who took David from them be brought to justice.”

‘His life was stolen’

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The family of David Clarke have released the following statement:

“We, David’s family, are pleased with the guilty verdict and today’s sentencing.

“We would like to thank the 20-plus police officers who worked on this case over the last year.

“We would like to give special thanks to DI Nichola Holden, T/DS Matthew Brownridge, DI Jackie Smart and DC Matthew Marshall. They all worked so hard to bring David’s killer to justice and have supported us as a family throughout this whole process.

“Knowing the man who killed David is going to be behind bars for a very, very long time will bring some comfort to us but sadly, nothing and no one can bring David back.

“Nothing can give him back the last 13 years or the rest of his natural life.

“David can no longer enjoy the things he loved such as playing chess and watching football.

“His life was stolen from him and he did not deserve it.”