Lee Peacock: Double murder suspect ‘confessed to killings in note’

Clinton Ashmore and Sharon Pickles (Family Handouts/PA) (PA Media)
Clinton Ashmore and Sharon Pickles (Family Handouts/PA) (PA Media)

A “cold-blooded” killer slit the throats of his girlfriend and another man in central London before confessing his crimes to his father, the Old Bailey heard.

Lee Peacock, 50, is accused of murdering Sharon Pickles, 46, and Clinton Ashmore, 59, over two days in August 2021, before turning the knife on himself when he was tracked down by police.

It is said Peacock told his father that he had murdered three people, and also allegedly implicated himself in the killings with a hand-written note and messages to friends.

“Over two short days, the defendant first killed Ms Pickles and then he killed Clinton Ashmore”, said prosecutor Edward Brown KC. “The defendant’s actions were as cold-blooded as they were determined.”

Jurors heard a five-day police manhunt began on August 19, 2021, when Peacock’s father told officers his son had been at his home and confessed to murder by cutting victims’ throats.

Ms Pickles’ body was discovered, wrapped in a duvet and hidden under a bed, that evening at her home in Marylebone, having been killed around 36 hours earlier.

Peacock was caught on CCTV after the visit to his father, walking with Mr Ashmore towards his Westminster flat and then leaving alone 15 minutes later, the court heard.

Around two hours later, Mr Ashmore was discovered dead by friends, having suffered multiple cutting injuries to his neck.

The day before he turned up at his father’s house, Peacock had sent text messages to family members saying he was in “serious trouble”, jurors were told.

He allegedly wrote: “After this conversation with me you will never hear from me again. I will never be released from prison. My hand has been forced after what I did last night.”

The messages were found on the defendant’s mobile phone, which had been discarded near his father’s address, the court heard.

Peacock was eventually located on August 25 on a houseboat moored on the Grand Union Canal in central London.

When officers arrived, Peacock tried to cut his own neck before being restrained, the jury was told.

More notes allegedly confessing to the murders and explaining the reasons for them were found in his pocket.

A T-shirt matching the one Peacock was seen on CCTV wearing near the second victim’s house was also recovered.

After being treated in hospital for cuts to his neck, Peacock gave a “chilling” account of what happened, Mr Brown said.

The defendant allegedly said the knife at the houseboat had been used to kill both victims.

He said he had argued with Ms Pickles about a man named Scuilla who he suspected she had been seeing while he was in prison and had supplied her with drugs.

He lashed out with the knife after Ms Pickles laughed at his plan to kill Scuilla, according to the account.

Afterwards, he went to his father’s house to ask for money but left soon afterwards and later realised police had been called.

He allegedly said he wanted to kill others who he blamed for exploiting Ms Pickles but decided to kill Mr Ashmore as he was one of the group who had sold drugs to her.

Mr Brown said: “The evidence shows without doubt, say the prosecution, that it was this defendant who was responsible for killing Sharon Pickles, his partner, and for the killing of Clinton Ashmore, an associate.

“And that these were conscious and determined decisions – conscious and determined acts. The defendant was ruthless.

“The killings, linked as they are plainly, were no accident.

“Given his determination and the use of a knife to the neck of each victim, the defendant can have intended nothing less than to kill.”

Peacock denies two counts of murder and the trial continues.