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Colston Bassett murder: Police reassure community as suspect released under investigation

A senior police officer has today moved to reassure a rural community rocked by a murder investigation.

Mother-of-three Clair Ablewhite, 47, was found dead after officers were called to the property in Hall Lane, Colston Bassett, shortly before 6.30pm on Saturday (26 February). She suffered stab wounds in the attack, which is thought to have happened on Friday night or the early hours of Saturday morning.

A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder but has now been released under investigation as enquiries continue.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin, who has years of experience in investigating murders and serious crime in his career with Nottinghamshire Police, has been in close liaison with detectives leading the investigation and kept abreast of all the lines of enquiry.

Clair Abelwhite Copy
Clair Abelwhite

“My instinct and experience tells me that at this stage there is certainly no cause for wider alarm in the community,” he said.

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“My thoughts are very much with Clair’s family and specially trained officers will continue to work closely with them as the investigation progresses.

“I completely understand how an incident like this will have shocked the local community, which is a very quiet rural area where violent crimes, particularly of this nature, are extremely rare. But I would like to reassure people that the investigation is moving at pace with a team of experienced detectives following up a number of leads.

“As you would expect we have deployed a huge amount of specialist resources into this from Nottinghamshire and the region.

“Local residents can expect to see lots of police officers in the area – uniformed officers and detectives.

“The investigation is still in its very early stages but there is lots of activity taking place and many  lines of enquiry being pursued, including CCTV, forensic examinations and searches and we are speaking to lots of people who are providing very helpful information. All of this is helping us piece together what happened.”

ACC Griffin added that he believed there may still be people who have not yet come forward who could have information that could help the investigation.

“Were you in and around the area on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday?” he said.  “If you knew Clair, did she confide in you or share anything that could be relevant? If you have the slightest bit of information, even if you think it might not be relevant, please let us know because we will leave no stone unturned.”

Anyone with information is urged to call 101, quoting incident number 669 of 26 February 2022, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. People can also report information through an online portal, here  https://mipp.police.uk/operation/33EM22E38-PO1

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