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Folkestone murder accused Brian Sharp's girlfriend 'turned down proposal from victim' Tim Clayton, court told

By Paul Hooper

The girlfriend of a Folkestone man accused of murder has told the jury how his love rival had proposed to her.

Samantha Allen claimed Tim Clayton told her he was in love and wanted to marry and be with her.

The prosecution has claimed her lover Brian Sharp murdered Mr Clayton in a jealous rage on November 9 last year.

Tim Clayton suffered serious head injuries in Folkestone

Ms Allen – who told the jury she was an alcoholic at the time – said she turned down the offer of marriage.

"He had been very depressed and I had come from another relationship. It was like I had become his carer and at times I had kicked him out because he got on my nerves.

"I got on his nerves too. I wanted more from the relationship that Tim was able to give."

But she said Sharp – who has denied murder – was "obsessive" and did not want her to have male friends.

"He used to follow me to the phone saying: 'If you are going out I am coming with you'. Tim was a massive problem for him.

"Brian is such a lovely person, but he kept saying: 'It's either him or me'.

"He hated him (Tim) with a vengeance. It was 'Tim this, Tim that'. Yet Tim and I were just like brother and sister. God I don't choose the right men, do I?"

Police at the scene behind Europa House where Tim Clayton was found. Picture: @Kent_999s

Prosecutor Ian Hope told Canterbury Crown Court how Mr Clayton died from injuries he got as he slept rough behind Europa House in Sandgate Road.

Samantha, who has since been in rehab, told the court: "I met Brian sometime last summer and we started a relationship in June or July.

"I had known Tim for four to five years. He was such a gentleman. He was a gem. I met him in the Burstin, a hotel that I stayed in for a year-and-a-half after I got divorced. Tim was working there then.

"Tim and I were very very good friends. We were very good for each other. He was someone I could talk to. We were like brother and sister... very, very good friends.

"He stayed in my flat for some considerable time. He was living in a halfway house in Dover at the time and got a job near my flat. I said he could come and stay with me."

Tim Clayton died in hospital after being found beaten in a car park

She said Sharp did not like her having friends and in November she claimed she suffered violence.

"Brian hit me," she said. "That was an argument about my relationship with other men. He didn't like me being friends with other men. It just got out of hand.

"I had probably had too much to drink. He started getting very agitated and getting crosser and crosser. It was like he wasn't the same person.

"He hit me on my back on my legs with his fists. He hit me hard enough to make me cry. He then put his hands around my neck so I couldn't breathe properly. He terrified me."

The trial continues.

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