Murder victim's cause of death 'unascertained'

The family of missing woman, Pat Holland, have spoken of their “much-loved mother, grand-mother and great-grandmother"

An inquest has been opened into the death of Pat Holland from Gorleston. - Credit: Norfolk Police

The inquest has opened into the death of a Gorleston woman murdered in her own home.

Pat Holland, 83, was last seen on Saturday, July 24 at around 9.20pm near her home in Lowestoft Road, with her family reporting concerns for her safety the following day when they could not contact her. 

A week later Allan Scott, 41, was charged with her murder after police found partial human remains at the house, the focus of intense forensic activity.

At the opening of the inquest, heard at Norfolk Coroners Court on Monday (September 13), area coroner Yvonne Blake said that the cause of death was "unascertained."

She said Winifred Patricia Holland was born in Leeds but there was no information as to her occupation.

The date of death was given as July 30 at her home.

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The inquest was adjourned until February 9, 2022.

Mrs Holland was initially reported as missing, although a police cordon was put up at the property.

She was well known in Gorleston, particularly around the high street and library. 

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In the days after it emerged she had been murdered she was hailed as a cheery lady with a straight-talking streak and a reputation for helping others.

Neighbours remembered her with affection bowling along the centre of the road supported by a walking frame.

Allan Scott, 41, of Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, has been charged with her murder and appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday, August 3.

Scott, who appeared via videolink from Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre, and wore a black top, spoke only to confirm his details during the short hearing.

A plea and trial preparation hearing was set for September 28.

In a statement, the family had said: "Our beloved Mum, nan and great grandmother has been taken from us in a way which simply cannot be comprehended.

"Mum spent her days trying to help others, she reached out to local people and wanted to make a difference in any way she could."

Meanwhile the Rev Matthew Price, of St Mary Magdalene Church, said: "She was well liked and the community clearly cared deeply for her."

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