ITV Documentary Reveals Unfolding Heartbreak of Parents Charles and Doris Clark Accused of Murdering their missing son of 28 years – Cleveland Police urged to “refocus missing person efforts” as Steven Clark’s elderly parents issue formal complaint against the Police.
Tonight at 9pm on ITV, the documentary “Accused of Murdering Our Son -The Steven Clark Story” is aired. This is a documentary about a Watson Woodhouse client, and shows rare access to elderly couple Charles and Doris Clark from Saltburn on Sea, near Marske, who were shockingly arrested last year on suspicion of the murder of their son Steven, 28 years after his dissappearance.
Paul Henderson here at Watson Woodhouse has been instructed by the Clarks to take legal action against the Police which will take the form of a formal complaint, probably followed by a claim for damages, not least for a breach of their Human Rights.
Charles and Doris appeared on This Morning with Phillip Schofield on Monday 19th April, in advance of the airing of the documentary, which follows their experience in real time during the 17 week investigation as primary suspects of the Murder of their son Steven. The documentary reveals new information from the investigation that has never been in the public domain, as they are investigated by Cleveland Constabulary. Ex-detective Mark Williams-Thomas – who exposed Jimmy Savile as a predator in the multi-award award-winning The Other Side of Jimmy Savile for ITV, unflinchingly documents their 17 week horrific and unique journey exploring both sides of the story and reveals the intense pressure experienced by the couple forced to relive the anguish of Steven’s disappearance and face the prospect of going to jail for the rest of their lives.
At points throughout the documentary, Mark checks in with retired senior police officer Julie Mackay, the former Head of Major Crime at Avon and Somerset Police, who remembers the case and offers her insight on the police investigation and their decision to accuse Stevens parents 28 years on from their son’s disappearance as part of a “cold case review”. From having their garden dug up and house searched by police looking for a body, to media speculation; the couple’s unfolding nightmare is shown through every painful step of their ordeal.
Joe Watson, Solicitor from Watson Woodhouse, Middlesbrough, who represented the Clarks at this time, and also appears in the documentary, says; “To be wrongly accused of such a horrific crime, will no doubt have placed the Clark’s under unimaginable pressure and anxiety. I am delighted that this burden has now been lifted from them, although I fear that the ordeal will stay with them for a long time. I hope that anyone with information does indeed come forward so that the Clark’s can be reunited with their son”.
Doris, who was clearly distraught throughout the filming, reflects “We’re elderly pensioners, grandparents, in the latter stages of our lives, we’ve carried the loss of our disabled son Steven for 30 years, there’s no body, no physical evidence linking us to his disappearance, we’ve been actively campaigning all these years with Missing person charities, it’s been a hugely sad thing to have to grieve so long , to miss your son so much, and suddenly find ourselves charged as suspects in his Murder. We felt dismayed, vulnerable, needed protection, we were frightened and harassed by the Police, the 17 week investigation was brutal, even when we were finally dismissed from the investigation there was no apology, no remorse, just an absolutely callous dismissal, from the officers involved. We have instructed Watson Woodhouse to issue a formal complaint on our behalf”
Charles Clark 79, sadly recounts the impact their investigation as Murder suspects had on their family’s lives “Steven was our only son, disabled following an accident as a child, he walked with a pronounced limp and had limited movement in his arm, we were always over protective of him because of this. We are not who the police have made us out to be. The officers were aggressive, and shouting, finger pointing, our requests to the officers were rarely responded to during the 17 weeks, and we were left shocked and afraid”
Accused of Murdering Our Son -The Steven Clark Story airs tonight Thursday 22nd April at 9pm on ITV.