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'My hell accused of prostitute's murder'

Malcolm Shipley.
Malcolm Shipley.

by Keyan Milanian


A nineteen-year murder investigation is to remain open after police revealed they are still hunting Glenda Potter’s killer.

Police this week confirmed the news after Malcolm Shipley, who was once accused of her murder, spoke exclusively to the Medway Messenger claiming he had been told he would be cleared.

Glenda Potter - Murder. May 1991.
Glenda Potter - Murder. May 1991.

Glenda, a petite brunette who worked as a prostitute, was found half-naked in the grounds of the quiet United Reformed Church, now the Vines Church, in Crow Lane, Rochester.

The mother-of-four was just 32 when she died, having been sexually assaulted and strangled in May 1991.

Mr Shipley, 35, who now lives in Maidstone, was just 16 at the time of the incident and was later released without charge along with two other men.

However, he has continued to live with the accusation for almost 20 years as no-one has ever been charged with the crime.

He said: “I lost a lot of my family over the accusations. It’s only in the last few years I have been able to win them back.

“My family went through bad times, my mum and sister in particular went through hell. We had people in the street and in shops pointing at me or telling my mum 'your boy’s a murderer.’”

Mr Shipley claims he was told in October that he was no longer suspected of the crime.

Kent Police say the investigation is continuing after the case was re-examined earlier this year.

A spokesman said they have insufficient evidence to charge anyone with murder.

Glenda Potter - Murder. May 1991.
Glenda Potter - Murder. May 1991.

Mr Shipley, who was living on the streets in the early 1990s, said he knew Miss Potter well and that the two would smoke a cigarette or eat a sandwich together in parks in Rochester.

He added: “She was like a mum to me really, a nice person, caring, funny.

“I know people would think 'oh, she’s a prostitute’, but she had a heart of gold and was a good friend to me.”

Police continue to appeal for witnesses.

Anyone with information can phone Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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