Claire’s parents are ‘living a nightmare’

Pat and Ray Martin of Sutton, whose daughter Claire was murdered in Italy.
Pat and Ray Martin of Sutton, whose daughter Claire was murdered in Italy.

The parents of Claire Martin say they are ‘living a nightmare’ as they fight to find out how their beloved daughter died - and who killed her.

Ray and Pat Martin said they spoke to Claire on Skype every day and had only been out to Italy to see her and their grandson Alex the month before she died.

Claire Martin, murdered in Italy.

Claire Martin, murdered in Italy.

Claire and her partner Diego were planning on moving to Germany, where Diego had found work, when the tragedy struck.

Ray said: “I spoke to Claire in the early hours of the 1st March.

“She had been working that night and Diego had found an apartment for them. She emailed the floor plan of it for me to see.

“Pat had gone to bed and Claire said ‘tell Mum I love her and I will speak to you tomorrow’.

“The next thing we knew was when Diego called the house at 3.15am on the 2nd to say ‘come quick, come quick, Claire is dead - there’s been an accident.

“The rest is hazy.”

The British Embassy were not informed of Claire’s death because of a mix up that appears to have occurred because she was born in Germany, even though she had a British passport.

Ray, Pat and their son Paul flew over to Italy straight away and were met with a wall of silence from the Italian police and no help from the British authorities.

Pathology reports state that Claire died from stab wounds to the neck. She drowned in her own blood as it filled her lungs and she suffered up to 24 knife wounds.

The family were not allowed to see Claire’s body for several weeks and when they finally were, she had not been cleaned up and was still covered in blood.

Ray and Paul did not let Pat see her in such a state.

“It was as if it had just happened. There was no apology from the Italians or anything,” said Ray.

“I bent down and kissed her and I cried.

“It’s what I see every night when I go to bed.”

Early on the Italian authorities seemed to accept that this was a suicide, but doubts have been cast by some people involved in the case and the Martins certainly do not believe that she killed herself.

“The only worry my daughter had was how she was going to get all her furniture from her large flat in Italy into a smaller one in Germany,” said Ray.

Added Pat: “She was never depressed, she was never a self-harmer. She was a happy, jolly girl who loved being a mum.”

Claire was buried in Italy and the Martins feel that they were misled by the Italian authorities about the consequences of not having her body repatriated.

If it had been brought back to the UK, an autopsy and other investigations could have been done here.

But they still do not understand the complicated Italian legal system and nobody has ever explained its processes to them.

This has made it even more difficult to comprehend what has happened to their daughter.

“We don’t know anything,” said Ray.

“People don’t believe you when you say that.

“We have lost friends over this.

“People don’t know what to say so they just avoid us.”

The investigation into Claire’s death has many similarities to the Meredith Kercher case, with questions arising specifically about the way the forensic evidence was gathered.

The entire crime scene was cleared within around six hours.

“All we would like is some closure,” added Ray.