‘Voyeur’ charged with murdering mum who went missing on dog walk

A man has been charged with the murder of artist Claire Knights who was found dead in Kent two days after she was reported missing.

Harrison Lawrence-van Pooss, 20, from Margate, was charged with murder on Monday (September 18), later appearing via videolink at Medway Magistrates’ Court.

He was also charged with voyeurism after an investigation into a separate incident when “upskirt” images of a woman were covertly taken on August 22 in Birchington, Kent.

Mr Lawrence-van Pooss was remanded to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday (September 20).

Ms Knights, 54, from Upstreet, near Canterbury, was reported as a high-risk missing person on August 23.

It is believed she had been walking her white and brown spaniel, Zebulon, from the village to the Minnis Bay area of Birchington, where she was reportedly seen on that afternoon.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested a man on suspicion of murder the next day.

Ms Knights was found dead in an area between St Nicholas-at-Wade and Minnis Bay on August 25.

A statement from her family released by Kent Police said: “Claire was a loving mum, partner, daughter and sister. An amazing contemporary artist, a trailblazer in life.

“She loved animals and in particular her springer spaniel, Zebulon.”

“We, the family, are struggling to come to terms with the fact she is no longer with us. We wish to thank friends and the community for their active support and kind words.”

The Margate School, an independent art school in the town, also paid tribute to Ms Knights.

It said: “She was an outstanding and exceptional artist, whose work reflected her complex, loving nature.

“Her sculptural work had elements of humour and wit alongside the determination.”

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