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Lee Clarke found guilty of the murder of Phillip Lewis

Crime / Fri 8th Mar 2024 at 01:42pm

A MAN, who thought he could get away with killing his friend and disposing of his body across Harlow has been found guilty of murder. 

Lee Clarke, 56 of Wedhey, Harlow appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today, where a jury found him unanimously guilty of murdering Phillip Lewis following a four-week trial. 

An investigation was launched on New Years Eve 2022, after Essex Police received a call from a member of the public, who had discovered a suspicious item at Oakwood Pond in Harlow at around 2pm. The area was quickly cordoned off and following attendance from forensic officers, the item was confirmed to be human remains. 

A murder investigation within Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate was launched and dozens of detectives and specialist officers were assigned to the case. 

Within two days of the discovery, the victim was identified through a DNA match as 59-year-old Phillip Lewis, who was known locally in Harlow as Scottish Phil. 

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby said “This investigation progressed quickly and despite how tragic this case is, the quick identification of Phil was impressive and crucial in establishing what had happened. 

“Once Phil had been identified, detectives were able to carry out enquiries, including phone network analysis to establish when Phil had gone missing and determine when he was killed. Based off this, it’s believed that Phil was killed on 12 November. Further enquiries identified Lee Clarke as the suspect”. 

On Wednesday, 4 January, a warrant was executed at Clarke’s home address in Wedhey, Harlow and he was arrested on suspicion of murder. When carrying out searches of the property, officers located a number of items including power tools and blood marks across the property. 

On 8 January 2023, Lee Clarke was charged with murder and remanded into custody. 

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby added “The charge against Lee Clarke was a significant development and the speed at which this was authorised demonstrated the hard work that went into this investigation. However, enquiries didn’t stop there, and our officers continue to gather the evidence needed to present this case in court. 

“A vital element of these enquiries were the searches of multiple ponds across Harlow, to gather evidence and get justice for Phil, who was a son, a father, a friend, and a well-known man in Harlow. 

“These searches were carried out by our Police Search Advisors (POLSA) and our Marine Unit and were supported by specialist agencies, including the Environment Agency. Searching water is a lot more complex than it may seem. It involves ensuring local wildlife is protected before draining the pond and conducting fingertip searches, which cover centimetre by centimetre of an area.” 

During these searches, further human remains belonging to Phillip Lewis were located. 

The trial of Lee Clarke began on Wednesday, 7 February at Chelmsford Crown Court. During the trial, Clarke attempted to claim that the blood located in his flat, was due to a broken mirror which the victim had helped him clear up. 

The trial concluded after four-weeks on Friday, 8 March where a jury found Lee Clarke guilty of murder. 

He will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, 12 March for sentencing. 

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby said “This trial has proven Lee Clarke to be a killer and a coward. 

“Despite being arrested over a year ago, Clarke has refused to tell anyone why he killed Phil.

“He has also refused to disclose where he disposed of the rest of Phil’s body, which has added to the suffering inflicted on Phil’s family. 

“This was a huge investigation for Essex Police and it would not have been possible without the support from the community in Harlow. Residents in Harlow were patient and compassionate, whilst our officers carried out enquiries. I can confidentially say that without the support from Harlow, assisting our hard-working officers, this result would not have been possible.”

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14 Comments for Lee Clarke found guilty of the murder of Phillip Lewis:

Bruce Downey
2024-03-08 18:06:01

Nightmare in Harlow.. best forgotten.

Norman bates
2024-03-08 19:57:01

So sad, to see Lee go down this very dark road!! Has justice been served....?? Or was it somebody else????🤔

Trisha
2024-03-08 20:30:52

Are you for real the man’s blood was found in his home, no mistake here, he’s guilty as f@ck . He murdered a man , chopped him up then dumped his body off like it was rubbish, I’m glad he got found guilty .. I hope he gets life , and rots in there.. guilty guilty guilty.. and feel pleased for phils family , they have got justice .. and this murdering monster is behind bars . No family should have to live knowing there loved one was treated like this.. it’s beyond evil .. and he has no remorse to have not let that family know where the rest of phil is, cold hearted murdering monster , ROT in Hell!!!

Anna
2024-03-08 22:25:07

Norman Bates what you mean it's sad to see lee go down this dark path!!!! If it was a family member of yours you wouldn't be making that comment, would you. Not only did he take a man's life he cut him up and disposed of the body. He still won't say where the other parts of phil's body parts are. How are phil's family meant to lay him to rest properly . Lee is a vile man always has been. He should rot in a hole! But he will get privileges in jail for taking a man's life. Shocking!!!!!

peter
2024-03-09 00:46:14

Cold blooded murderer a full life sentence nothing less, guilty 100%..

A
2024-03-09 01:09:19

Jury convicted.

Steph
2024-03-09 01:57:56

Phil was a kind generous man and my friend. He never stood a chance against that bully lee and I for one hope he rots in jail. Thinking of Phil's family especially his son. I will never forget you Phil xx

TURKEY
2024-03-09 10:28:36

Norman Bates . You used the right name there. Whole life tariff is the only sentence.

Andrew
2024-03-09 23:24:19

Phil used to be my neighbour, burglar, car thief and druggie, zero sympathy for this man, Lee Clark should get a crimestoppers award!

J
2024-03-10 01:35:11

Phil used to be a human Andrew right or wrong? your comments do not justify that one bit u should be locked up aswell what planet are you on

Andrew
2024-03-10 09:07:38

J, unless you lived alongside this guy and had dealings with him you can't comment, he was a vile individual, granted he met an horrific end but which was terrible but he was a nasty bulky, I won't miss him and I dare say neither will any of the other residents in the street, apparently he makes a brilliant jigsaw puzzle!

John
2024-03-10 09:35:02

You bastard lee Clarke hope you rot in hell you pig.

Andrew
2024-03-10 17:36:45

John, why would you call him that??

Jim
2024-03-10 19:31:21

I knew Phil for years always found him to be a great bloke rip Phil

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