Man admits murdering man found in city woodland after row over drugs

Police custody image of Andrew Forbes

Andrew Forbes - Credit: Norfolk Police

A 39-year-old who hit another man over the head with a brick after a row over drugs has pleaded guilty to murder.

Police were called to Clapham Wood, off Drayton Road, in Norwich just before 5.15am on June 22 where they discovered Daniel Littlewood with severe head injuries.

Daniel Littlewood, who died in Clapham Woods in Norwich on Monday 22 June. Picture: Norfolk Constabu

Daniel Littlewood - Credit: Archant

Paramedics were called but Mr Littlewood, 40, later died at the scene.

A post mortem examination revealed he had suffered severe traumatic head injuries.

Andrew Forbes was charged with murder following Mr Littlewood’s death.

Forbes, of Crome Road, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday (December 3) when he pleaded guilty to murder.

Police have cordoned off part of Drayton Road as part of an investigation into the death of a man fo

Police cordon off scene in Norwich near where Daniel Littlewood was murdered. - Credit: Archant

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The defendant, who wore a dark jumper and dark face mask, spoke only to confirm his plea and details.

Judge Anthony Bate adjourned sentencing until January 19.

Andrew Thompson, representing Forbes, said a psychiatric report prepared for the defence will be “central” to the submissions made on the defendant’s behalf.

Police cordoned off part of Drayton Road and St Martins Road after a man died in Clapham Wood nearby

Police cordoned off part of Drayton Road and St Martins Road after a man died in Clapham Wood nearby. Photo: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Stuart Anderson

Forbes and Mr Littlewood had been living at the same address on Crome Road and had been out together late on Sunday, June 21.

They were both last seen by a female friend on Aylsham Road just after midnight on Monday, June 22.

Some hours later Forbes called the female friend and told her he had killed someone.

He then returned to where he lived and told another person he had killed someone and the police were called just before 4.45am.

On arrival, Forbes told officers he had killed Mr Littlewood and offered his hands for arrest.

He also told officers he would direct them to where Daniel was; however, officers discovered the body a short time later.

Following his arrest, Forbes told officers he had killed Mr Littlewood by hitting him over the head with a cement brick he had found on the ground because he was unhappy about a comment he had made regarding his drug habit.

Speaking after Forbes entered his guilty plea, Chief Inspector Phil Gray said: "Forbes made no secret of his brutal actions from the outset.

"This was a shocking and unprovoked attack on someone he would have regarded as a friend.

"Our thoughts remain with Mr Littlewood’s family and I am pleased that today's plea means they will not have to endure the ordeal of a trial.”

Mr Littlewood’s family paid tribute to him following his death.

Owen Littlewood, Daniel’s father, said: “Daniel was a much-loved son and brother.

“His death has come as a huge shock to our family, and follows the recent death of his mother in April from illness.

“We would request our privacy be respected at this most difficult of times.”

Following the gruesome discovery, a police cordon was put in place around Clapham Wood while officers carried out their enquiries.

St Martins Road, between Aylsham Road and Drayton Road, and Drayton Road, between the junctions of St Martins Road and Lime Kiln Mews, were closed.

Speaking after the murder, a couple living near to the scene described their sadness.

A woman, 26, who did not want to be named, said:  “It’s just sad. You feel for the family involved, especially at this sort of time.”

Her partner, 28, said: “You don’t really expect something like that.

“It’s always seemed like a nice. Quiet area. It was very unexpected. It’s just sad.”

Police were quick to reassure the public that the incident was not connected to the murder of Gemma Cowey who was found stabbed to death at the former mental hospital in Thorpe St Andrew just a few days earlier.

Her former partner Michael Cowey, 49, last month pleaded guilty to murder and to possession of a black handled kitchen knife and a grey handled kitchen knife on June 19.

He is due to be sentenced by a high court judge on December 11.

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