Paige Chivers’ friend denies a bid to ‘shut her up’

Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

  • Tiffany Bell had known Paige for five years
  • She denies she had done anything to “shut her up for good”
  • Tiffany Bell had been arrested and questioned by police in January 2008, following Paige’s disappearance the previous August
  • Ms Bell claimed she lost custody of her child as a result of the arrest
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A friend of schoolgirl Paige Chivers has told a murder trial she had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Tiffany Bell, who had known Paige for five years, also denied she had done anything to “shut her up for good”.

He creeped me out. He’s very creepy

She told Preston Crown Court she had been arrested and questioned by police in January 2008, following Paige’s disappearance the previous August.

She was released without charge.

Ms Bell claimed she lost custody of her child as a result of the arrest.

Robert Ewing, 60, denies murdering Paige, 15, and doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of justice.

Co-defendant, Gareth Dewhurst, 46, of Duncan Avenue, Bispham, denies assisting an offender, a serious sex offence and also doing an act tended and intended to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Bell told the court she had known the pair for some time, however, she disliked Dewhurst.

She said: “He creeped me out. He’s very creepy”.

The court heard that five months after her arrest, she contacted police claiming Dewhurst had said something about Paige’s disappearance.

Under cross-examination from Dewhurst’s barrister, John Jones, Ms Bell, 27, admitted she was “excited” on hearing what Gareth Dewhurst allegedly said.

Mr Jones said: “Excited because you thought that there was now someone else in the frame for Paige’s murder and if you told the police you would get your child back?”

Ms Bell replied “yes”, although she admitted she could not remember what had been said about Dewhurst at the time, but had thought the police should know about it.

Mr Jones read to her part of a witness statement she made to police last September, a passage of which read: “The police have told me I made a telephone call to them on May 31, 2008, regarding Gareth Dewhurst making comments about being in involved in the murder of Paige.

“I am very shocked by this and have no recollection of making this call at all. I must have been wasted.”

Brian Cummings, prosecuting, asked her: “Did you have anything to do with Paige Chivers’ disappearance?”

She answered: “No.”

Mr Cummings then asked her: “Did you do anything to shut Paige up for good?”

She again replied: “No.”

Ms Bell also told the jury she had shared Ewing’s bed at his flat in All Hallows Road, Bispham.

But she denied the pair had a sexual relationship.

(Proceeding)

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