We look back on what was making the news on this day in Norfolk. Today, we look at the Eastern Daily Press front page of April 6, 1987.

A SIXTH scientist involved in defence work has been found dead.

Lecturer Peter Peapell, 46, died on February 22 from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found underneath his car in tht garage at his Oxfordshire home with the car engine running and the garage door shut.

An inquest recorded an open verdict , and a Thames Valley Police spokesman said: No more inquiries are going on at the moment? But Alliance Defence spokesman John Cartwright said be believed there were 'grounds for consern' and police should reinvestigate Mr Peapell's 'worrying death.'

Mr Peapell, a lecturer at the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, near Swindon, specialised in metallurgy and part of his research work was secret — like the five other scientists who died and the one who dis-appeared.


Home Secretary Douglas Hurd has ordered police to liaise over the deaths, but there will not yet be a Government inquiry.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said:

'Pull inquries viere made at the time of the death and an open verdict was recorded.'

The Oxford coroner who conducted the inquest, Nicholas Gardiner, said: 'I cannot comment at all'.

An open verdict is recorded where the evidence does not 'fully or further' disclose the means by which the cause of death arose, according to coroners' rules.

An inquest cannot be reopened without application to the High Court or by application for judircal review.

The college at Sherivenham is a centre of education for the Army 'a source of knowledge and reference for technology asnd science as applied to war, the Ministry of Defence said.

A spokesman said Mr Peapell worked as a Ministry of Defence scientist until 1984, but transfered after a reorganisation.

He did not know exactly what Mr Peapell's work involved or what level of classification, it had.

Mr Cartwright, who last week called for an inquiry into the death of the scientists, said yesterday police should reinvestigate Mr Peapell's death.


'I would have thought that as a matter of sheer prudence it would be the sensible thing to do in this case' he said.

Even if all the cases were individual suicides 'it must raise some question about the pressures under which scientists are working in the defence field.'