A SECOND inquest is to be held into the death of a murder victim whose body was found in a York river more than 16 years ago.

A pathologist examined David Clarke's body after a retired man saw it in the River Foss early on April 18, 2007, while out walking his dog.

The pathologist told the first inquest held into the death that the circumstances were consistent with Mr Clarke having drowned and that the alcohol he had drunk that evening had contributed to his death. 

That inquest, held in 2008, recorded an open verdict.

Twelve years later, a jury convicted David Roustoby, now 48, of murdering Mr Clarke, who was 43 when he died. They heard Mr Clarke had been strangled.

The jurors at Leeds Crown Court heard how the two men had been living in bedsits in the same building in 2007 in Huntington Road, York.

Roustoby had persuaded the other man to go to his bedsit where he had plied him with drink and drugs before killing him and taking his body to Towthorpe where he put it in the river. 

Police spoke to Roustoby about his actions on the night Mr Clarke died when they investigated the case for the coroner, but did not charge him with any offence in connection with it.

In 2019, Roustoby, who was then living on Rawcliffe Lane, Clifton, boasted to some friends how he had got away with murder and gave details about what had happened in April 2007.

The friends told the police and gave them a video recording with sound of the confession.

Roustoby denied murdering Mr Clarke, but was convicted after the jury saw the video and heard how closely Roustoby’s confession matched details about Mr Clarke’s death that had not been made public at the time.

Roustoby is currently serving a life sentence.

Now the North Yorkshire coroner is preparing to hold a second inquest into Mr Clarke’s death. It will be  on February 12 at the coroner’s court in Northallerton.

When a second inquest is held into a death the coroner can change the verdict or finding of the original inquest.