Fight for truth will continue for Martins

Pat and Ray Martin of Sutton, who believe their daughter Claire was murdered in Italy.
Pat and Ray Martin of Sutton, who believe their daughter Claire was murdered in Italy.

The parents of a Sutton woman who died in Italy from knife wounds to the neck have vowed to continue the fight to find out how she died.

Pat and Ray Martin, of Mansfield Road, have just been told that an appeal to keep the case into daughter Claire’s death open has failed, meaning the suicide verdict given by Italian authorities is official.

Claire died in March 2012 from multiple stab wounds to the neck while living in a village in southern Italy with her partner and baby son Alex.

But while a verdict of suicide was recorded, Claire’s family do not believe this was the case and say that key evidence surrounding her death has been ignored and leads not properly followed up.

Said Pat: “There are things there that the judge has completely and utterly ignored - things that can’t be ignored.

“The expert we have spoken to says there are just too many inconsistencies in this case.”

Having had documents from Claire’s case translated, the Martins have sought expert advice from a British forensic pathologist.

He has said that without seeing the crime scene, he thinks an open verdict would be more appropriate because there are doubts about whether Claire could have inflicted the stab wounds herself and there are a number of unanswered questions.

The Italian magistrate dealing with Claire’s case is still refusing to answer even basic questions about her death.

The family are now pressing for another meeting with the Foreign Office to see how they can take the case further.

As it stands, the case will only be reopened if new evidence is presented.

Pat said: “I have promised that I will go on and on and on [to find out what happened].

“I will not stop.”

“But if nobody wants to listen to you, there’s got to be a stage where you have to stop or you will wreck yourself,” added Ray.

“Our grandson will grow up thinking his mum took her own life when he was a baby.

“If we don’t want to fight for any other reason, we have to keep up the fight for Alex,” said Pat.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero said she was trying to secure a meeting between the Martins and the Foreign Office after Minister for Europe David Lidington said last year that he would consider meeting them again when a decision on Claire’s case was made.

She said: “Pat and Ray Martin have been to hell and back over the last few years yet shockingly they still aren’t any closer to finding out what really happened to their daughter Claire in Italy.

“The family were forced to wait for what seemed like an eternity before the Italian authorities finally made a decision and told them that they would not reopen an investigation into Claire’s death.

“Despite the setback Pat and Ray are determined to carry on in their fight for justice and they have my backing all of the way.”

Chad contacted the Foreign Office said it could not comment on the case.