THE girlfriend of missing York man Ben Clarkson has said his disappearance is completely out of character.

Rachel Peatfield, 22, who lives with Ben in the Heworth Green area, said she cannott make sense of the the disappearance of her boyfriend of five years.

Ben, also 22, was last seen in Layerthorpe at 3.40am last Sunday, having been seen outside Fibbers in Stonebow at 3.30am after a night out, but he never arrived at his home, or turned up for his Sunday shift at a York music shop.

While police diving teams have been searching the River Foss, Rachel said she did not believe Ben had fallen in.

Speaking as she and a team of friends handed out leaflets in York city centre, Rachel said: “It’s horrendous. It’s horrible, I have days I’m very positive and days I want to shut myself away.

“It just doesn’t make sense. He was happy.

“I have looked everywhere, me and his mum have been doing everything we can. It’s so out of character, it’s not like him.”

Rachel, who met Ben at high school in Leeds 11 years ago, said they moved to York to go to university.

She said that while comparisons had been made with the death of York St John University student Megan Roberts, whose body was found in the Ouse after she went missing after a night out, there was no evidence to suggest Ben had fallen in the Foss.

Rachel said: “People are linking it to the Megan case. She was last seen next to the river and there was lots of connections. He wasn’t seen next to the river but people are making those connections.

“We want people to realise that just because he isn’t a girl he is still just as vulnerable and the same things that can happen to a girl can happen to a boy.

“I don’t know what has happened. I don’t think he is in the river, I think he is still out there.”

Rachel had been out with a friend on the night Ben went missing and when she woke up to find he had not returned home she assumed he had stayed with friends.

She appealed to anyone with information to contact police. “I love him lots and I just want him home safe. He is the most gentle caring person ever.

“In case he is out there I want to say ‘your niece is missing you’, come home.”

Rachel, who is working with the charity Missing People, said she wanted to thank the public for their support.

On Saturday and Sunday, she and a team of friends wearing white T-shirts with the logo #findbenclarkson, handed out posters and leaflets to raise awareness of his disappearance.

A team of divers from the Yorkshire And The Humber Marine Unit returned to search the Foss on Saturday and later said they had ruled out two areas of the river.

They had previously carried out fingertip searches of the river for any sign that Ben may have entered the Foss from Tuesday to Thursday.

When Ben was last seen he was wearing dark skinny jeans, a grey t-shirt with an Eiffel Tower logo on the front and dark pumps with white trim and white toe caps.

Anyone with information is urged to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101.