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Man to be charged with 1993 murder

A man will be charged with the murder of a schoolgirl more than two decades ago, prosecutors have said.

Colin Ash-Smith is accused of killing 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in 1993 in Greenhithe, Kent, and will appear in court at the end of the month.

The teenager was stabbed more than 40 times in an alleyway near her home as she took a short cut.

Nigel Pilkington, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "In November 2012 I received a file of evidence from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate relating to the murder of Claire Tiltman on January 18 1993.

"The investigation by the police has been a lengthy and complex one. Following further investigation, my review of all the evidence in the case has now been completed and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Colin Ash-Smith, 45, for the murder of Claire Tiltman.

"Mr Ash-Smith will appear at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on February 28 via video link."

No one has ever been charged over the schoolgirl's death, and both of Claire's parents have died since her murder. H er mother Lin died aged 56 in 2008, and her father Cliff died in September 2012

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate cold case team, said: "Claire Tiltman's unsolved death is one of the longest-running cases for Kent Police and has remained in the forefront of the minds of investigating officers for over two decades.

"Colin Ash-Smith is now to be brought before a court following our investigations and subsequent consultation with the CPS."

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