Evidence suggests St Clair planned her disappearance

EVIDENCE gathered by detectives indicates that Lindi St Clair, the missing prostitution campaigner, may have engineered 'an elaborate and spicy' disappearance to escape a pounds 112,000 tax bill.

Although Sussex Police said last night that they were keeping an open mind over her whereabouts, they added that a charge of wasting police time would be brought if she were found to have staged a vanishing act.

Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor of the Sun, was yesterday interviewed by police searching for Ms St Clair over a letter the newspaper received from her on 2 January. In it she offered to expose the 'perverted, corrupt and crooked' lives of 252 MPs who she claimed were her clients.

She wanted to meet a Sun reporter at a hotel in Brighton to discuss the allegations, but the newspaper declined, saying: 'We felt she was trying to lure us into a stunt designed to damage the paper and tabloids in general.'

Media excitement grew briefly yesterday when it was revealed that a piece of House of Commons notepaper had been discovered in a coat left in the Jaguar hired by Ms St Clair, and abandoned at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne in East Sussex, last Saturday.

But Detective Superintendent Mike Bennison said that only the top one-third of the paper was recovered. That included her address and the word 'Dear . . . ' but the rest had been torn off.

A reference at the top of the page is understood to have identified the MP who sent it. He will be interviewed, but Det Supt Bennison said that the letter was expected to be a routine piece of correspondence.

As 'Miss Whiplash', Ms St Clair founded the Corrective Party to campaign for prostitutes' rights, and was in regular correspondence with MPs.

Detectives have four theories as to what happened to Ms St Clair: that she was murdered; that she committed suicide; that the disappearance is a publicity stunt; or that she vanished deliberately to avoid paying her tax bill. The last theory is the one being most seriously considered. Detectives have found a witness who saw her leaving home with a large suitcase the night before she vanished.

'We have not found that suitcase,' Det Supt Bennison said. 'It is not in her hotel room; it was not in the Jaguar that was abandoned; and three witnesses who identified her walking away from Beachy Head (on Saturday) said that she wasn't carrying it then, so where is it? The disappearing act seems a fairly good theory with an elaborate trail of intrigue and an added bit of spice.'

Ms St Clair was due to meet a local newspaper journalist to reveal her 'dirt file' on more than 200 MPs and judges before she disappeared.

'When she spoke to the journalist she said: 'Someone is following me, I can't see you now', ' Det Supt Bennison said. 'It seems she has gone to the brink with her threats to expose but then couldn't come up with the goods. From what we have seized (from her home in south London) there is nothing to indicate that a 'dirt file' exists. There is nothing to suggest that anyone of any prominence has partaken of any sexual activity with her.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most