Third arrest 14 years after murder of Belfast man David Clarke in 2001

Third arrest 14 years after murder of Belfast man David Clarke in 2001

A THIRD person has been arrested by police re-investigating the brutal murder of a Belfast man 14 years ago.

David Clarke, 26, who had learning difficulties, was savagely beaten to death in his flat at Forthriver Road, Belfast in the early hours of June 6, 2001.

His body was found later that evening by friends who forced their way into the first floor flat after he hadn’t been seen all day.

At the time, police said it was one of the most savage and brutal killings they had ever dealt with.

The PSNI announced on November 29 that they had re-opened the inquiry into Mr Clarke’s death, after new information came to light.

A 33-year-old woman was arrested in the Shankill area of Belfast this morning.

This follows the arrest of a 32-year-old man in the same part of the city on December 3 and that of a 34-year-old man in north Belfast on November 30.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson from the Serious Crime Branch said:

Everyone in the local community knew David. He knocked about more often with teenagers than people his own age because he felt more comfortable with them because of his learning difficulties. He was inoffensive and vulnerable.

During the attack, fixtures and fittings were damaged and it was believed that Mr Clarke retreated to his bedroom for safety where he was eventually beaten to death.

Mr Clarke’s injuries were described as some of the worst that police officers at the time had ever seen.

It was also revealed that Mr Clarke had been bullied in the weeks leading up to his death.

The community in north Belfast helped to pay for his funeral, and his grave is still tended to by locals.

His old flat is now a community centre known locally as Clarke House.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency number 101.