People living near close to a property in Norwich where someone was stabbed said they heard an argument before the police arrived at the scene.

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A 42-year-old man received a single stab wound to the stomach and was said to be in a “critical but stable” condition at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital following an incident at a property on Dereham Road on Sunday at about 6pm.

The large property, believed to be a hostel for those with drink and drugs problems, was cordoned off yesterday as police scenes of crime officers searched for clues as to what had happened.

Families living close to the property, close to the junction leading to Tollhouse Road, said they had heard shouting in the garden.

A 44-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I came out to paint the front fence and I heard awful arguing. There was quite a lot of arguing between a woman and a man. They were shouting a lot. I thought I better call the police I looked to see what number it was and came back to grab the phone and suddenly there was silence and the police arrived so someone must’ve called them before me.

“I was certain something was wrong; you can recognise normal arguing but even though there was quite heavy traffic I could still hear it.”

A man in his 50s who lived at a nearby address on Dereham Road said police normally attended the property, which he thought might be some kind of half-way house, about once a month.

His wife, who did not want to be named, said she saw “fighting in the garden” but did not realise the extent of what had happened.

She said: “We just thought it was the usual.”

A 39-year-old woman who lives in the area, but who also did not want to be named, said she did not see or hear anything but added her son, eight, heard a commotion.

She said: “My son said he heard people shouting. There’s lots of people crossing the road and you do sometimes hear shouting. I didn’t know it was from the house.”

The condition of the victim is now being described by police as “serious but stable”.

A 51-year-old man and a 41-year-old man were initially arrested in connection with the incident and are being questioned at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre (PIC).

Police have since confirmed a third person, a 31-year-old woman, has also now been arrested. All three are from the local area.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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