Crime Files Network

Body in boot victim

‘threatened for months’:

Police said.

Lee-Maree Gallo

June 1, 2011 – 1:13PM

Major crime sqaud officers rushed to the Great Eastern Motor Lodge after the grisly discovery.Major crime sqaud officers rushed to the Great Eastern Motor Lodge after the grisly discovery.

A 47-year-old man charged over the death of Forrestfield businessman Peter Davis, whose body was found wrapped in plastic in the boot of his car at the Great Eastern Motor Lodge early yesterday, had allegedly been threatening the victim for months, a court has been told.

Police today laid out their case against Ambrose John Clarke, who was charged overnight with grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Davis’s death following what witnesses have described as a “demolition derby” in the motel car park.

Mr Clarke this morning appeared in the Perth Magistrate’s Court and was remanded in custody after bail was refused. The charges are likely to be upgraded after the results of a post-mortem examination are known.

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Body discovered at Rivervale motel

Forensic detectives are trying to piece together the events in the motel car park.

The court was told the two men were former business partners whose relationship had soured over a financial dispute regarding $30,000-$40,000 connected with the business, 6PR radio reported.

Following the dispute, Mr Clarke had allegedly been threatening to kill Mr Davis for several weeks.

Mr Davis had been reported missing since Monday morning after his wife received a mysterious text from a phone her husband seldom used.

Forrestfield businessman Peter Davis.Forrestfield businessman Peter Davis. 

It was understood Mr Davis had left for work about 6.30am before his wife received the text at 9.30am. The text allegedly read “I won’t be going to work today”.

After Mr Davis’s wife made a few phone calls, it was apparent Mr Davis had gone missing after he failed to show up for several obligations.

Police claimed that in the lead-up to Monday night’s events, Mr Davis’s son had been searching for his missing father after he was told he may be staying in a motel in Rivervale.

After going from motel to motel, he came allegedly across Mr Clarke’s car at the Great Easter Motor Lodge in Rivervale. Mr Davis’s son pulled into the car park and noticed his father’s car was also parked there.

He phoned the police and was allegedly confronted by Mr Clarke. The duo rammed each other’s cars as Mr Davis’s son fought to stop Mr Clarke from leaving the motel. By the time police arrived Mr Clarke had driven off.

On the way to the motel, police had pulled over Mr Clarke for a damaged headlight and took his details. Upon realising who he was, officers later visited Mr Clarke’s Murdoch home and arrested him over the death.

‘Demolition derby’

Witnesses at the lodge yesterday described how a “demolition derby” took place in the car park that saw the two utes smash into a row of parked cars, damaging some of them severely.

A resident at the Lodge, Jared Liddicoat, said he heard a loud bang that got him out of his unit and onto the balcony, where he saw one car chasing another.

“There are skid marks down there and this Hilux had lined up this Triton up from a good 50 metres and just (sideswiped) him and reversed up and sped off,” he said.

Acting Detective-Inspector Greg McDonald said it was not yet clear how the victim died or whether he was killed at the motel.

– with Michele Gelle and Fran Rimrod

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