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Police name 83-year-old Peter Wrighton from Banham as victim of brutal murder in woodland near to East Harling

PUBLISHED: 15:04 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:45 09 August 2017

Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

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An 83-year-old man who was brutally murdered in woodland near East Harling has been described as “a lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather.”

Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

The heartbroken family of Peter Wrighton, from Banham, have paid tribute to his “kind nature” and his “love of walking his dogs and chatting with people to pass the time of day”.

Mr Wrighton died after he was stabbed in the neck and head in a frenzied knife attack while taking his two dogs for a walk in woodland close to the Fiveways junction, near East Harling, on Saturday, August 5.

Mr Wrighton had worked for British Telecom for 35 years and retired to the area 30 years ago where he enjoyed living a simple life with his family and dogs.

MORE: Dedicated phone lines set up by police for those with information about East Harling murder

Peter Wrighton with one of his dogs. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary. Peter Wrighton with one of his dogs. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

His wife, of 59 years, and his family added: “Peter was immensely kind and never had a bad word to say about anybody and people always seemed to take a liking to him.

“We are extremely thankful for all the people who have come forward to speak with the police and hope we will soon be able to understand why this has happened.

“When we think of Peter we remember him with fond and happy memories that will stay with us always.”

MORE: Banham residents react to murder of Peter Wrighton in East Harling

Peter Wrighton, 83, with one of his dogs. Picture Norfolk Constabulary Peter Wrighton, 83, with one of his dogs. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Enquiries continue into the murder of Peter in East Harling and detectives still believe that the public may hold the key to finding the killer.

The initial call to police was made at approximately 10.45am on Saturday, August 5 after the body of a man was discovered in woodland near the Fiveways Junction.

Norfolk’s County Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, said: “I would like to reassure the public that we are following several lines of enquiry and are pleased the public are supporting us in our investigation.

MORE: Fifty police officers involved in hunt for killer after brutal murder of dog walker, 83, in woodland near East Harling

Peter Wrighton's two dogs.  Picture Norfolk Constabulary Peter Wrighton's two dogs. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

“We have received more than 100 calls in the last three days and we would continue to urge people with information, particularly those who were in the area between 9am and 11am, to make contact.

“I would like to ask again, that if you live within five miles of The Street please can you check your bins, gardens and outbuildings for any items which may have been discarded by a potential suspect.

“I would also request that premises or businesses within the same area with CCTV systems preserve any footage that relate to the hours of 6am until 9pm on Saturday, August 5.

MORE: Police investigating murder of Peter Wrighton from Banham in woodland near East Harling have received more than 100 calls from public

East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

“Similarly, if you have a dash-cam or other recording devices and travelled in the area, save the footage and contact the police.

“We remain concerned that we have not yet been able to trace the person or people responsible for Peter’s death.

“I hope residents will take some reassurance from the increased policing presence today which will be continuing throughout the evening and as long as is necessary, but I am aware that this incident will be causing some to worry. I would ask people to remain vigilant and to contact us if they see anything suspicious.

• Anyone with information about the murder or any suspicious activity should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 0800 056 0944 or 0207 158 0010, quoting Operation Graduate, visit the mobile police station or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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