Margate man enters not guilty plea to charge of murdering artist Claire Knights

Claire Knights

A man accused of murdering mum-of-one Claire Knights in August has entered a not guilty plea.

Harrison Lawrence-van Pooss, of Margate, appeared at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday [April 8] via video link from Broadmoor for a case management hearing.

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

Claire’s vehicle, a silver Suzuki car, was recovered from Shuart Lane, St Nicholas At Wade. The artist 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.  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.

On September 18, 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 is next listed for trial scheduled for 4 June.

A tribute issued by Claire’s family said she was “a loving mum, partner, daughter and sister. An amazing contemporary artist, a trailblazer in life.”

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