Peter Clarke and Sharon Arthurs-Chegini
Peter Clarke, a financial consultant aged 49, and Sharon Arthurs-Chegini, an interior designer aged 46, were called a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde in the UK.
Mr. Clarke was trying to interest investors in his scheme to refurbish a hotel catering to celebrities. He and Ms. Arthurs-Chegini threw lavish parties to woo investors.
A potential victim said: “I was almost hoodwinked, almost dragged into his scam. I must have had more than half a dozen meetings and soon began to realise he was a conman.”
The couple tried to skip out the hotel's back door on a £1000 bill but were apprehended. While under criminal investigation, Clarke said he would pay the hotel bill, but the check to his lawyer bounced. The couple then jumped bail and sailed away on a stolen two-masted yacht, but they were soon caught and arrested. While awaiting trial, they fled and may have bounced around Europe until they got to Portugal, where they stole another yacht, the Skipper 7.
Nine months later, fisherman discovered the stolen yacht adrift near Dakar, Senegal.
The yacht's sail was ripped and there was no food or water on board. The occupants - Mr. Clarke in a bunk, and Ms. Arthurs-Chegini sitting in a sofa - were so badly decomposed that no certain manner of death could be ascertained.
A red diary belonging to Ms. Arthurs-Chegini's was found. Inside, it read:
“We have been bashed about for days. Peter is collapsed in bed. I have been unable to get to him. Everything takes huge amounts of energy, having consumed no water yesterday. I am tired now and the light’s going...Fugitive Britons may have starved to death on stolen luxury yacht at The Times>>
My heart and love goes out to my daughters and to my immediate family. We now haven’t eaten for four weeks and I dream of my mum’s steak and kidney pie, steak pie and sausage and mash.”