Man appears in court over murder of woman, 37

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Pol

Rafal Winiarski has appeared in court charged with the murder of 37-year-old Malgorzata Lechanska in Shipdham. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A man in his 30s has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman in her home in a Norfolk village.

Rafal Winiarski, 39, of Lake Close, Shipdham, was arrested and charged with murdering 37-year-old Malgorzata Lechanska after her body was found at the same address on Sunday.

He appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday, via videolink from Wymondham Police Investigation Centre (PIC), when he spoke, through a Polish interpreter, to confirm his details during the short hearing.

Winiarski, who wore a dark top, had black hair and a beard, and was represented by Gavin Cowe, while Denise Holland appeared for the prosecution.

The case was sent to Norwich Crown Court on Thursday (August 5) by district judge Shanta Deonarine.

The defendant was remanded in custody.

Police were called to Lake Close, Shipdham, on Sunday afternoon (August 1) after concerns for the safety of a woman were raised. 

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home.

Lake Close in Shipdham, where the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was found at a property by police. - Credit: Sarah Brown

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Emergency services were sent to the scene at around 1.21pm, but Ms Lechanska was pronounced dead a short time later. 

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from a severe head injury.

Forensic services on scene in Lake Close, Shipdham, after the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was discovered on Sunday.

Forensic services remain on scene in Lake Close, Shipdham, after the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was discovered by police on Sunday (August 1). - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Neighbours of Ms Lechanska have described her as a "caring" and "quiet" woman who loved gardening and have also told how they want to get a memorial bench installed in the communal area near her home so her daughters - seven and 16 - can come and remember her.

Flowers left at the scene in Lake Close, Shipdham, where the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was found on Sunday (August 1).

Floral tributes left at the scene in Lake Close, Shipdham, where the body of Malgorzata Lechanska was found. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Nikita Bailey, 25, from Lake Close, whose daughter played with the victim’s youngest girl, who was six, said Ms Lechanska, who is understood to also have an older teenage daughter, "loved her garden".

She also planted fruit plants for the children in a nearby communal area "for the kids to go and pick".

Detective Inspector Lewis Craske said: "We are looking for information from anyone who may have known Malgorzata or can help us with information around the circumstances leading to her death.”

Anyone with information should contact DI Lewis Craske at Norfolk Constabulary by calling 101, quoting crime reference 36/55532/21.

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