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SAVAGE; The martial arts fanatic with 100 weapons who butchered his parents.


A MARTIAL arts expert was yesterday found guilty of murdering his parents in a frenzied knife attack.

Black belt Michael Clarke, 21, who had a collection of more than 100 terrifying weapons, stabbed them to death at home then calmly went to a rock concert.

The bank worker's dad Milroy, 70, suffered 17 wounds in a "savage, almost ritualistic killing".

His mum Joan, a 56-year-old child minder, was knifed 14 times by her "polite and loving" son.

Clarke showed little emotion as he was found guilty on two counts of murder at Bristol crown court.

But his family remain baffled as to why he turned on his parents.

Last night his step-sister Sarah Leyfield, 38 - who initially refused to believe he was responsible - said: "Perhaps one day we will be given an answer, but until that day the question still remains."

The court heard how Clarke was born with a severe hair lip and cleft palate and had a string of operations as a child.

Nigel Pascoe, prosecuting, said his parents were very protective.

"Some have said that they treated him like a child," he added.

Friends described Clarke as a loving son, but during the fiveweek trial it emerged he was obsessed with violence and death.

He had amassed an arsenal of swords and knives - encouraged by his dad, who collected them.

Police also found a diagram he had made four months before the double murder in December 2004, headed "knife drills".

Underneath he had written: "1, initial slash to disarm or slow opponent' 2, arterial slash or stab to majorly injure' 3, imminent death stab or slash to kill opponent."

On the day of the murders, the court heard that Clarke had left the family home in Melksham, Wiltshire, to set off for Wembley when his father called him to say he had forgotten his sandwiches.

As a friend waited just streets away, he murdered his parents in less than 15 minutes.

He then rejoined his friend for the trip to London to watch US rockers Blink 182. He pretended to chat to his parents on his mobile.

Once in Wembley, he met up with his best friend Stuart Painter, who, it was alleged, had agreed to dispose of the murder weapon - kept in Clarke's bag.

Painter was charged with assisting an offender. The jury is still considering that case.

Clarke returned home in the early hours and pretended to discover his parents' bloodied bodies and ran "sobbing" to neighbours.

After the verdict, Chief Supt Paul Howlett said: "It continues to be a mystery as to what prompted him to kill both of his parents." Clarke will be sentenced today.


EVIL: Clarke on poster for martial arts class' KILLED: Mum Joan TERRIFYING: Clarke's weapons arsenal VICTIM: Dad Milroy
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2006
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