People: Mother arrested after admitting crime on TV

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The Independent Online
The mother of a former murder suspect was arrested yesterday after telling a television programme she ordered the disposal of a knife.

Diane Ash-Smith's husband Aubrey is currently serving a 12-month sentence after being found guilty earlier this year of perverting the course of justice.

Their son Colin has been questioned in the past about the unsolved murder of Claire Tiltman, the teenager who was stabbed to death in January 1993 in an alley at Greenhithe, Kent. He is currently serving a life sentence for attacks on two other women.

A Kent police spokeswoman said yesterday that Mrs Ash-Smith was being questioned at Gravesend police station. "We can confirm that a woman has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice following comments made in a television programme last night," she said.

Mrs Ash-Smith - who has always believed in her son's innocence - told Meridian Focus last night that she ordered a knife to be disposed of when police were questioning her son.

Mrs Ash-Smith, a former mayor of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, says she felt the family were being harassed by police.

"I expect I'll get arrested and put away now, but I said for Christ's sake get rid of that bloody knife, you know what police are like, they'll come and put us away."

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