Murder tragedy couple ‘walked round village arm-in-arm’

PUBLISHED: 14:12 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:03 26 September 2018

Michael and Frances Hubbard. Picture: East Anglia News Service

Michael and Frances Hubbard. Picture: East Anglia News Service

East Anglia News Service

Detail is today emerging about the close relationship between the couple at the centre of a murder inquiry in Brooke.

Floral tributes left at scene outside property in Brooke where Frances Hubbard was stabbed. Picture: Pete WalshFloral tributes left at scene outside property in Brooke where Frances Hubbard was stabbed. Picture: Pete Walsh

A neighbour said Michael and Frances Hubbard would go out together up to three times a day, walking “arm in arm”, and often had Sunday lunch at a local pub.

The 83-year-old, who did not want to be named, said Mrs Hubbard used to “do all the work, even the garden”, adding: “They seemed as though they were all right.”

Officers were called to Churchill Place at about 10.30am on Sunday, September 23 to reports of a stabbing.

They arrived to find the body of a woman, believed to be Frances Hubbard, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Frances Hubbard  PHOTO: Paul Hewitt, ArchantFrances Hubbard PHOTO: Paul Hewitt, Archant

Bouquets of flowers have been left on the front garden of the bungalow, one of which has a note attached which reads: “Be at peace dear Frances X.”

There are also daffodils laid on the path to the property which was surrounded in police tape following the incident.

But the cordon has now been removed, as have the police cars and forensics van which had been at the address following the fatality.

A man in his 80s, understood to be her partner Michael, arrested in connection with the incident has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Forensic van on scene at Brooke murder. PIC: Peter Walsh.Forensic van on scene at Brooke murder. PIC: Peter Walsh.

But it has since emerged that following a mental health assessment he has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The neighbour described how Mrs Hubbard was a member of the Women’s Institute and used to attend meetings at Alpington.

The man said they both used to go to the pub there and to the Railway Tavern pub in Poringland where they regularly had Sunday dinner.

Others have also paid tribute to Mrs Hubbard.

Deirdre Bannister, 74, said she was “very nice” and a “polite, lovely lady” who “always spoke to people”.

The Rev Lynn Chapman, vicar of St Peter’s Church in Brooke, said she had received calls from people in various states of distress since the tragedy.

She said one prayer had already been left for Mrs Hubbard at the church and described how people could leave prayers or light candles in memory of her at the church at this time.

A spokesman for Norfolk Police confirmed rubber bullets - also known as a baton round - were used during the arrest.

However, police would not say how many baton rounds were used.

A Home Office post mortem examination will take place today to establish the cause of death and formal identification is yet to take place.

The cordon has been lifted at the address and detectives are continuing with their enquiries.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

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