Alarm was raised when Weybread alleged murder victims missed line dancing class
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A neighbour of a Suffolk couple who were allegedly murdered by a former asylum seeker found no signs of a disturbance when he looked round their home after their daughter became concerned about them, a court has heard.
Mark Daniels and his wife Rachel had used a key they found on a ledge above the front door to let themselves into the home of 75-year-old Peter Stuart and his 69-year-old in Mill Lane, Weybread on June 2 last year.
In a statement read to Ipswich Crown Court Mr Daniels said he had been asked by Mr and Mrs Stuart's daughter Christy Paxman to check the house after some friends of the couple had become concerned when they unexpectedly missed a line dancing class several days earlier.
Mr Daniels described the house as 'spotless' and he could see no signs of a disturbance.
He said he noticed a laptop which was still switched on and he could see an eBay shoe website on the screen.
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He also noticed the cat's water bowl had very little water in it and the litter tray looked as though it hadn't been emptied for several days.
He returned to the house the following day at the request of Mrs Paxman who asked him to look at the calendar and he found the page for May had been ripped out.
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The court also heard evidence from Sgt Murray Osman, a specialist search officer, who discovered Mr Stuart's body in a stream in woodland at the back of the couple's home on June 3 last year.
He was walking along a shallow stream when he spotted an object partially submerged in the water ahead of him and initially thought a tree stump or a log had fallen into the water.
As he moved nearer he could see a human hand and realised it was a body lying face down in the water covered with some sort of tarpaulin.
The court has heard that Mr Stuart's body was found to have multiple stab wounds while his wife's body has never been found.
Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, has alleged the killings were carried out by Ali Qazimaj, a former asylum seeker who came to the UK in 1999.
However, Mr Khalil told the court that the man the prosecution believed to be Qazimaj claimed his name was Vital Dapi and that he was the victim of mistaken identity.
He denies murdering Mr and Mrs Stuart between May 29 and June 3 last year.
Mr Khalil has alleged that Qazimaj knew of the Stuarts through a connection with their son-in-law Steven Paxman who is married to their daughter Christy.
Qazimaj, who lived in Tilbury, had been a carer for Mr Paxman's father Sidney and through him he had learned about the Stuarts.
Mr Khalil told the court that on June 3 last year Qazimaj had resigned from his job at a recycling company in Essex and had also started selling items from his flat.
The following day he had allegedly driven to Dover where he caught a ferry after abandoning his Citroen, claimed Mr Khalil.
He said that in addition to Peter Stuart's DNA being found in blood on the driver's door of the Citroen and hairs contains Mrs Stuart's DNA being found in the boot, Qazimaj's fingerprints were found on a plastic bag in the footwell of the car and on the car doors.
Mr Khalil claimed that Qazimaj, had a gambling habit which had resulted in him getting into debt.
He alleged that Sidney Paxman had told Qazimaj the Stuarts were millionaires and that Qazimaj had told him he had carried out a contract killing in Serbia in 2015.
Qazimaj had also allegedly made a comment to Mr Paxman about marshes near Tillbury being a 'good place to dispose of a body'.
The court heard the prosecution had mobile phone and traffic camera evidence of Qazimaj making trips to and from the area of the Stuarts' home and back to Essex prior to their deaths.
The trial continues.