A police watchdog has confirmed it has started an independent investigation into 'recent contact' officers had with a woman before her body was found at a property in a Norfolk town.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was informed after the body of Tara Kershaw, 33, was found at Princes Road, Great Yarmouth, just after 9am on Saturday, January 20.

Eastern Daily Press: Adam Barnard (inset) was charged with murder after a woman's body was found in Great YarmouthAdam Barnard (inset) was charged with murder after a woman's body was found in Great Yarmouth (Image: Submitted/Facebook)Adam Barnard, 40, of Princes Road, Yarmouth, was charged with murder following the discovery and could stand trial on July 29 after a provisional trial date was fixed at Norwich Crown Court last month.

Police had received information that the body of a woman was inside the property before they went to the address.

A Home Office post-mortem examination has been conducted with initial findings showing the death was consistent with compression to the neck.

Confirming an investigation has begun, an IOPC spokesman said: "We have begun an independent investigation into recent contact that police officers had with Tara Kershaw prior to her body being found at her home address in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk on 20 January.

"Our investigation began on 22 January following a mandatory referral from Norfolk Police. 

"Our investigation is looking at the previous police contact, including the actions and decision making of the officers involved. Our investigation is in its very early stages and we will keep all parties updated regularly. Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

In a statement released following Ms Kershaw's death, her family said: "Following the death of our beloved sister, which we are struggling to come to terms with at the present time, we would like to ask people to respect our wishes for privacy.

"We would like to be given the time to grieve the loss of Tara and come to terms with the circumstances in which her life was taken."

A plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH), when Barnard will be expected to enter a plea, has been fixed for April 12.