Updated: POLICE in North Yorkshire have condemned a national newspaper report which attempts to link the suspected murder of York chef Claudia Lawrence with the “Crossbow Cannibal”.

The Daily Mirror yesterday reported that Stephen Griffiths, 41, was being urged to make a dramatic deathbed confession about the disappearance of seven women – including chef Claudia Lawrence, 35, who vanished in York two years ago – as he enters the fourth month of a prison hunger strike.

Griffiths, dubbed the Crossbow Cannibal, was jailed for life in December for the murder of three prostitutes in Bradford.

But North Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police dismissed the reports linking him to Claudia as a “load of garbage”.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “This is simply not the case and whoever has provided the information is wrong.

“The reality is that neither West Yorkshire Police or North Yorkshire Police have spoken to Griffiths about the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence as he has refused to be interviewed since he was imprisoned.

“And as North Yorkshire Police has stated previously, there is no evidence to connect the two investigations together.”

Martin Dales, friend and spokesman of Claudia’s father Peter Lawrence, said: “The headline is particularly distasteful and it is highly distressing to see this sort of treatment on this occasion, especially when the police have said all along there is no link between Mr Griffiths and the Claudia case.

“Throughout the two-year ordeal the Mirror have been a great support for the Claudia case and it seems strange they have reported on this story in this way.”