Tesco worker strangled neighbour with tie ‘because he thought he was a nonce’

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A former Tesco worker strangled his neighbour with a tie and later tried to falsely claim it was "because he was a nonce".

David Roustoby has finally been found guilty of murder 13 years after the fact.

The 48-year-old was convicted of killing John David Clarke, 43, in April 2007 after a jury at York Crown Court saw through his lies, the Mirror reports.

Roustoby was caught out after a video emerged in which he bragged about plying Mr Clarke with drink, before drugging him with tablets and then strangling him with a tie.

Mr Clarke was found face down in the River Foss in Towthorpe, York, by a retired doctor walking his dog on April 18, 2007.

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His confession video, which was recorded by friends in August 2019, showed how Roustoby was proud of the fact he had "gotten away with murder".

During a recorded conversation with Colin and Kirsty Easthope, Roustoby claimed to have called for help in disposing of Mr Clarke's body after "strangling him to death with a tie".

When Mr Easthope asked: "Doesn't this class you as a murderer?", Roustoby laughed and said: "Yeah."

The former Tesco employee denied murder but was unanimously found guilty by a jury of six women and six men at York Crown Court, sitting today in Leeds.

Roustoby, York, could be seen holding his head in his hands after the verdict was delivered following a seven-day trial.

He also shouted: "I am sorry" before he was taken out of the court room, although it was not clear who the apology was directed to.

Mr Clarke, who generally went by his middle name, lived on Huntington Road, York, in the flat above Roustoby's.

According to police reports, Mr Clarke had made a complaint in November 2006 saying Roustoby had allegedly discharged a firearm and threatened to kill him.

Roustoby was arrested but never charged.

In a police statement from 2006, which was read out in court, Mr Clarke said: "I was shocked and alarmed by the incident but I don't think David meant any harm."

Roustoby told the Easthopes he killed Mr Clarke because "he was a nonce" – a statement rebutted by the prosecution.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said: "Claiming David Clarke was a sex offender was a wicked self-justification of the terrible thing he [Roustoby] had done.

"David Clarke had no convictions of sex offences and no allegations of any type had been made."

An inquest into Mr Clarke's death ruled that he died by drowning contributed to by alcohol intoxication, although an open verdict was recorded.

Mr Wright also said that it was possible that Roustoby had not "entirely killed" Mr Clarke when he strangled him and that the victim was still breathing when he was thrown in the river.

Now the trial is over, it can also be reported that on September 2 this year Roustoby's ex, Sharron Roustoby, 50, of York, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

She admitted using her red Ford Fiesta to help him move Mr Clarke's lifeless body to the river before reporting the car as stolen.

The car was found just a few miles from her home where it had been deliberately set on fire.

Sharron and David Roustoby will both be sentenced on Monday [Oct 19].

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