Date: 29 Jul 2004
Richard Clarke was shot in his bed.
He had been in bed with his girlfriend at the time and was shot at point blank range in what was said to have been an execution style killing.
It was said that his girlfriend actually slept through his murder, only to realise that he had been shot when her 14-year-old son woke her up in the morning.
He had been shot with a 12-bore shotgun. It was said that the shot had been muffled. His girlfriend said that she had taken sleeping pills although she did say that she thought she heard a door slam in the night and thought that she had felt Richard Clarke jolt her in her sleep.
The police said that there was no evidence that the home had been broken into.
It was said that Richard Clarke had earlier been hired by a man to shoot another man that had been due to give evidence against him in a court case. The shooting had taken place in Halifax two weeks earlier. The target was going to give evidence against the man that had hired Richard Clarke for shooting an amateur rugby player. The man was later jailed for 15 years. Richard Clarke and the man that had hired him had got to know each other in Armley Prison whilst the man was on remand for the earlier shooting. It was said that Richard Clarke had agreed to send a warning message to the witnesses involved in the trial that the man was facing for the earlier shooting. Richard Clarke was said to have been the passenger in a Subaru Impreza car that had been stolen which had pulled up by a VW Bora car by the Beehive and Cross Keys pub in King Cross Street, Halifax. He was said then to have fired a shot at the three people in the car, although it had not injured anyone. The man that had been driving the VW Bora car was later convicted for conspiracy.
Richard Clarke had been in Armley Prison for driving whilst disqualified.
He had a reputation for being a hard-man and was said to have had a knowledge of guns. The police said that he was involved in crime and the use of guns and that he had been involved with robbing local drug dealers, also known as 'taxing' them.
When Richard Clarke was shot he had just been reunited with his 15-year-old daughter who he had not seen for 10 years and was hoping to make up for lost time.
Police said that four people were spotted near the property at the time and that they had only managed to trace one of them.