Man charged with murder of Claire Knights

Claire Knights

Detectives investigating the death of Claire Knights near Birchington have charged a man with murder.

Claire, 54, was initially reported missing from the village of Upstreet on Wednesday 23 August.

The mum-of-one’s vehicle, a silver Suzuki car, was recovered from Shuart Lane, St Nicholas At Wade. She is believed to have walked from there to the Minnis Bay area of Birchington with her dog, where she is reported to have been seen later that afternoon.

The spaniel was recovered in Minnis Bay by officers on 23 August.

Shortly after 7pm on Friday 25 August, Kent Police officers attended the scene between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay where Claire was found deceased. It is reported that Claire was found by searching family members.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested a man on suspicion of murder the following day. He was then detained for assessment by medical professionals although officers confirmed they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the death.

Today (18 September) Harrison Lawrence-van Pooss was charged with murder.

He was also charged with voyeurism following an investigation into a separate incident in which ‘upskirt’ images of a woman were covertly taken on Tuesday 22 August in Birchington.

The 20-year-old, of Margate, will appear via live link at Medway Magistrates’ Court, today.

UPDATE: Harrison Lawrence-van Pooss was remanded this afternoon. The case will next be heard at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday 20 September.

A family tribute to Claire says: “Claire was a loving mum, partner, daughter and sister. An amazing contemporary artist, a trailblazer in life.

“She loved animals and in particular, her Springer Spaniel, Zebulon.

“We, the family, are struggling to come to terms with the fact she is no longer with us. We wish to thank friends and the community for their active support and kind words.”

Commenting is switched off because the legal process is now live.