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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
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: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing