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Dog walker, 83, stabbed multiple times in neck and head in brutal murder in woodland near to East Harling

PUBLISHED: 21:13 07 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 08 August 2017

The murder scene in woodland near East Harling
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017a

The murder scene in woodland near East Harling Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017a

Archant 2017

An 83-year-old dog walker was stabbed multiple times in the neck and head in a brutal murder in woodland near to East Harling, police have revealed.

The murder scene in woodland near East Harling Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017a The murder scene in woodland near East Harling Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017a

Police were called to woodland near the Fiveways Junction at about 10.45am on Saturday morning.

A murder inquiry has been launched after a post-mortem examination found the victim appeared to have been “subjected to a serious assault”.

But more details about the shocking crime have been released by police following a press conference which revealed the victim, who has not been named, “died from multiple stab wounds to his head and neck”.

Police said the man, a married father of two children from the local area, had been out walking his two dogs at the time of the attack.

Police will remain on scene over the next few days (Picture: Peter Walsh) Police will remain on scene over the next few days (Picture: Peter Walsh)

Detectives from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team (MIT) are in the early stages of the investigation and a cordon remains in place at the woodland as enquiries to establish the sequence of events leading up to the man’s death continue.

Norfolk’s county policing commander, Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, said: “I fully understand that residents will be shocked and concerned that a murder with this level of brutality can happen to an elderly man going about his daily business in our county.

“The motive remains unclear and we are appealing for people who have noticed any unusual activity in the area recently.

“Those who use the woodlands and footpath regularly, especially those who were there between 9am and 11am on Saturday, August 5 are urged to contact us.

The scene in East Harling after a body was discovered nearby (Picture: Peter Walsh) The scene in East Harling after a body was discovered nearby (Picture: Peter Walsh)

“I would like to reassure the public that dedicated teams are investigating the incident whilst uniformed officers remain on scene and in the local area to provide a visible policing presence.

“We have also set up a mobile police station at the scene and created a dedicated phone line should you have further information which could assist us,”

Chf Supt Fawcett urged people to be careful when going out but insisted police were not instructing people not to go out.

He said: “I’m not saying don’t go out walking on your own.

Police officers have an increased presence in East Harling following launch of murder inquiry in an effort to reassure the public. Picture: Peter Walsh Police officers have an increased presence in East Harling following launch of murder inquiry in an effort to reassure the public. Picture: Peter Walsh

“We’ve had this attack which is out of the ordinary in that area which has been flooded with police officers.”
He added: “This was a brutal murder with no motive on a married family man.

“We really need as much information from the public as possible to help us with this investigation.”

Extra police patrols have been carried out in East Harling following the murder which has shocked members of the community.

A worker at East Harling Post Office, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “You don’t like that sort of thing happening on your doorstep - it’s worrying.”

Ted Pheasant, who works at F.L. Edge Butchers in Market Street, East Harling, said: “It was just a shock to find out there was a murder.”

Mr Pheasant said he only found out a murder inquiry had been launched on Monday (August 7) morning, but did recall seeing several police cars “racing” through the village with their blue lights ablaze on Saturday.

He said: “On Saturday there was a couple of police cars which raced through and another three after that.

“I thought someone said there was an accident at the crossroads but never heard anything more about it.

The murder scene in woodland near East Harling
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017a The murder scene in woodland near East Harling Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017a

Savash Turkel, who works at Rumbles Fish Bar in the village, said: “It’s a bit of a shock for a quiet village.

“I’ve been here seven years and its the first time we’ve heard of a murder in East Harling.”

• Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101, quoting Operation Graduate, visit the mobile police station or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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