Former Tesco worker confesses to friends how he strangled neighbour

‘I shoved a tie round his neck and strangled him’: Chilling moment Tesco worker confesses to friends how he murdered neighbour before dumping body in river as he is jailed for life

  • David Roustoby, of York, strangled neighbour David Clarke, 43, with a tie in 2007
  • He made confession to friends Colin and Kirsty Easthope at their home in 2019
  • Captured on CCTV, the recording revealed details only known to police at time; Roustoby claimed his confession was a ‘fantasy’ to impress friends
  • Roustoby, 45, was sentenced to life in prison at York Crown Court on Monday

An extraordinary ‘confession’ made by a killer who thought he had got away with murder for 13 years – which was recorded on CCTV – has been released. 

Former Tesco worker David Roustoby, 45, from York, told friends Colin and Kirsty Easthope that he had killed neighbour David Clarke – saying he ‘shoved a tie round his neck and strangled him’.

The conversation was recorded on CCTV at the couple’s home in 2019 and was played during the trial.

In the confession, Roustoby can be heard telling the couple he had killed 43-year-old Mr Clarke ‘because he was a nonce’.

An extraordinary ‘confession’ made by a killer who thought he had got away with murder for 13 years – which was recorded on CCTV – has been released. Former Tesco worker David Roustoby (above), from York, told friends Colin and Kirsty Easthope that he had killed neighbour David Clarke

The conversation was recorded on CCTV at the Easthopes’ home in 2019 and was played during the trial. In the confession, Roustoby, 45, can be heard telling the couple he had killed 43-year-old Mr Clarke (pictured) ‘because he was a nonce’ – and that he ‘shoved a tie round his neck and strangled him’

In the footage, which David Roustoby called a ‘fantasty’ to impress friends, he said he ‘shoved him [Mr Clarke] in the car, took him up to Towthorpe, dumped him in the f***ing river. That were it, job done.’ Above, the River Foss, where Mr Clarke’s body was found in April 2007

He added: ‘He came into my flat, I sat him down, plied him with drink, went up to his flat, got his f***ing medication out of his drawer.

‘Got a load of his drugs, crushed them all up, shoved them in his f***ing drink, got him high as a kite, shoved a tie round his neck and strangled him.

‘Shoved him in the car, took him up to Towthorpe, dumped him in the f***ing river. That were it, job done.’

Roustoby admitted to plying Mr Clarke, who lived in the flat above him, with alcohol and prescribed medication and strangling his victim with a tie.

He said he got his then girlfriend Sharon Houlden, 50, to drive Mr Clarke’s lifeless body to Haxby where it was dumped in the River Foss.

Roustoby later claimed in his defence that this was a fantasy confession, concocted to impress his friends.

However, in the recording he revealed details only known at the time to police.

Roustoby’s then-girlfriend Sharron Houlden (pictured), 50, of York, admitted using her red Ford Fiesta to help him move Mr Clarke’s lifeless body to the river before reporting the car as stolen. She was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to assisting an offender on September 2

Roustoby was sentenced to life in prison at York Crown Court, sitting in Leeds, on Monday following a seven-day trial.

On April 18, 2007, a retired doctor reported to police that he had found a fully clothed body floating face down in the River Foss while he was walking his dog.

The man was identified as then 43-year-old David Clarke, who lived four and a half miles away in York.

At the inquest back in 2007, the coroner ruled that Mr Clarke had died by drowning, with alcohol intoxication a contributing factor.

The court heard how Mr Clarke had an alcohol problem and suffered from depression.

The pathologist at the time concluded that the circumstances were consistent with drowning and found that Mr Clarke had been heavily intoxicated.

But the jury at York Crown Court this week was asked to consider the likelihood of a heavily intoxicated man walking four and a half miles from York to Haxby – a journey that would have taken over an hour on foot, before accidentally or deliberately drowning in the river.

David Roustoby admitted to plying Mr Clarke, who lived in the flat above him (pictured), with alcohol and prescribed medication and strangling his victim with a tie. Roustoby was sentenced to life in prison at York Crown Court, sitting in Leeds, on Monday following a seven-day trial

Messages recovered from Mr Clarke’s SIM card confirmed that Roustoby was the last person to see him alive.

The court heard how Sharon Houlden had reported her car stolen to the police two days after the murder, and it was found burned out a short distance away.

They also heard how, some time before the murder, the defendant had reported to the police that Mr Clarke had threatened him with a gun.

On October 15, the jury took three hours to find David Roustoby guilty of the murder of David Clarke.

Claire Harris from the CPS said: ‘For 13 years David Roustoby believed he had literally got away with murder. When confronted with his CCTV confession, he claimed that he was trying to impress his friends; that it was all fantasy.

‘This was a lie. After listening to the evidence at trial, the jury agreed with the case put before them by the CPS. David Clarke’s death was neither accident nor suicide.

‘Roustoby had indeed plied Mr Clarke with alcohol and drugs; strangled him, and dumped his body in the Foss, exactly as he claimed in his confession.

‘Justice has now been served and Roustoby is now serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 19 years.’

Sharron Houlden, 50, of York, admitted using her red Ford Fiesta to help him move Mr Clarke’s lifeless body to the river before reporting the car as stolen.

She was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment (minus the time she has already spent in custody) after pleading guilty to assisting an offender on September 2. 

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