£1,000 reward offered for information on the Holt poison pen letter writer

An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - Denise Benbow places a poster in her window. Picture: Matthew Usher. An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - Denise Benbow places a poster in her window. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thursday, June 5, 2014
8:46 AM

The mystery of the poison pen letter writer in the Norfolk town of Holt continued yesterday as new information came to light.

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An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - Butcher Paul Reed places a poster in his window. Picture: Matthew Usher.An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - Butcher Paul Reed places a poster in his window. Picture: Matthew Usher.

And with an EDP reward of £1,000 offered for information leading to the arrest and successful conviction of the culprit, the search was on for more information.

Police said because of the EDP appeal a Holt resident had come forward with information, and in the town more people had spoken out about their letters.

Denise Benbow, of Benbow’s Greengrocer, said a customer had visited the shop with news of a letter.

She said: “One of our regular customers came in and showed us the letter he had received. The letter had picture of a woman drawn on and was sent by second class stamp.”

An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - A news bill in Holt. Picture: Matthew Usher.An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - A news bill in Holt. Picture: Matthew Usher.

And telling information revealed in some cases the writer had cut out North Norfolk District Council letter heads, pasting them on sheets of paper and writing underneath.

A Holt businessman said his relative had received several threatening letters which told them to leave their property.

A district council spokesman said the council would not comment as it was a matter for the police.

Providing an insight into the motive of the anonymous writer, Dr Simon Hampton, from the UEA School of Psychology, said there were several options for understanding the crime.

An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - A poster on display in Holt. Picture: Matthew Usher.An appeal poster has been handed out in Holt to try and get information on the writer of the poison pen letters - A poster on display in Holt. Picture: Matthew Usher.

He said the sender might have meant the letters as a practical joke, or not thought it was a criminal offence.

Dr Hampton, who lectures at the university, said the victims would have found the letters unsettling.

He said: “Maybe the people receiving them are wondering who they have upset that would want revenge.

“To think they don’t know who it was adds to the troubled feeling.”

A sample of anonymous letter sent to a Holt resident.A sample of anonymous letter sent to a Holt resident.

At least 15 anonymous letters have been sent in and around Holt in the last year, containing personal threats, lies and abuse.

The mystery began to reveal itself when the victims, who wished to remain anonymous, started to take the letters into police stations and police surgeries in the area.

A letter sample released by the police reads: “The longer you leave it the sooner you will have to vacate the property.”

If you recognise the handwriting call the EDP on 01263 512732 or Norfolk Police on 101.

Anyone who receives any malicious communications should contact PCSO Keith Clarke at Holt Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Comment – Page 30

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