‘She was the last person to start an argument’ - neighbours still in shock over murder of ‘quiet and pleasant’ Norwich woman
PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 September 2018
A brilliant, quiet and gentle person, that is how Norwich woman Farnaz Ali has been described by distraught friends.
Miss Ali, 49, a former University of East Anglia (UEA) student, went onto work for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) after graduating and also helped with the Green Party.
Viv Thomas, from Norwich, said: “I was deeply shocked to learn what happened to Farnaz. She was a quiet and gentle person – very kind. I remember her lovely smile, and her laughter at others’ tomfoolery in lunch breaks or after work. It is heartbreaking what has happened.”
Julie Bremner, who worked with Ms Ali for years in the civil service, said: “Farnaz was a brilliant person; kind, thoughtful and really funny - we used to laugh a lot. I was really saddened and shocked to hear what happened to her, this was a terrible end to her lovely life.”
Meanwhile, the flat in Godric Place where Farnaz Ali’s body was found stands boarded up more than a year after the gruesome discovery which sparked a murder inquiry.
Ms Ali’s body was found inside Danny Williams’ flat on Saturday July 29, 2017, less than 24 hours after her devastated partner Oliver Howlett had reported her missing.
Williams’ flat lies agonisingly close to the safety of the flat opposite where she lived with her partner.
People living near to the ground-floor flat remain as shocked today as they did a year ago that such a quiet and caring soul could end up murdered.
A woman in her 40s, who did not want to be named, said: “She was so quiet and no-one would’ve been aware of her as someone confrontational. She was quiet and pleasant. She and her partner kept themselves to themselves.”
Neighbours had reported really loud music coming from Williams’ flat on the Friday afternoon (July 28 2017) before Ms Ali’s body was found there the following morning.
The woman said she could imagine that Ms Ali might have spoken to Williams about the music but not anything else beyond that.
She said: “Farnaz was quite introverted. She was not the sort of person who would confront but it would be something she probably would’ve spoken to them about.
“Farnaz might’ve said could you be more considerate with the music but she was not the person who would go and confront...she wasn’t that sort of person at all which is why it was such a shock.
“There are people that are quite aggressive and confrontational they don’t care about others and just go in for an argument but she wasn’t that sort of person at all.
“She kept herself to herself. She would talk to someone but she was the last person to start an argument.
A 38-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I still feel really sad about it.
“I saw her that morning and I will never forget that. She was a lovely lady.
“It was really sad to hear - I couldn’t believe it was her.“
A 78-year-old man, who did not want to be named, said he knew of Ms Ali.
He said: “She was very quiet but she would always say hello.
“She was ever so pleasant when she spoke to you. You didn’t get very much out of her but she was very pleasant.”
The man said that Ms Ali had been “ever so friendly” with the people that lived there before Williams and used to “feed their cats”.
He said: “I was here with my windows open. The noise came through ever so loud. It was so loud I had to come out here and shout as loud as I could.
“I regretted it because at my age you don’t want someone coming after you.”