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Dad of former Claire Tiltman murder suspect Colin Ash-Smith would disown son if he were guilty
A PENSIONER whose home was raided by police in connection with the historic murder of Claire Tiltman says he would disown his son if he thought he was Claire’s killer.
Cold Case Investigation Team detectives swooped at around on a house in Myrtle Place, Stone, at around 8.20am on Thursday morning which is home to the parents of 45-year-old Colin Ash-Smith.
Colin Ash-Smith is currently serving three life sentences for attacking two women, including 21-year-old Charlotte Barnard who he stabbed more than 14 times yards from the alleyway in London Road, Swanscombe, where 16-year-old Claire was murdered.
He was arrested late in 1995 over Claire's murder but his mother Diane, 65, a Labour councillor at the time – and later mayor of Swanscombe – provided him with an alibi, saying he was out leafleting with her at the time of Claire's death.
Police move in to the Ash-Smith home on Thursday morning.
His father Aubrey Ash-Smith, 66, told News Shopper: "If I knew my Colin had done things like that there would be no contact between me and him.
"But he said I’m not admitting something I haven’t done."
Former milkman Colin Ash-Smith was jailed at the Old Bailey in 1997 for attempted murder, attempted rape, kidnap and grievous bodily harm with intent.
His father says he moved to the semi-detached home in Myrtle Place in February 1995 with his wife, and Colin has never slept a night there.
He added: "The only reason they put Colin in the frame was what he did to those other girls which I was appalled at.
"It took me a long time to get like I am with Colin.
"I know Colin will be fuming - believe it or not my son was too good to be true.
"To this day if I swear when I go visit him, he has a go at me.
"He’s up for parole in a couple of months - it’s a fishing expedition."
Mr Aubrey-Smith was himself jailed for six months in 1997 for perverting the course of justice, after admitting destroying a knife belonging to his son days before police questioned him in connection with Claire’s killing.
He and his wife went to visit their son in Whatton prison in Nottinghamshire on Sunday as his chance of parole approaches.
Claire's best friend Lisa Gribbin, 36, organised a candlelit walk in January this year to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
She said: "There’s been a lot of hopes dashed in those 20 years and you just hope it will come eventually.
"That’s how you keep going in belief and hope her killer will be brought to justice."
A Kent Police spokeswoman said: "It is standard practice that undetected murders such as Claire's will be reviewed regularly.
"The activity is part of that on-going review."
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