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Other murders in the west Norfolk village of Snettisham

The murder of Becky Thorpe is not the only murder to have rocked Snettisham in living memory. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The murder of Becky Thorpe is not the only murder to have rocked Snettisham in living memory. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Archant © 2010

Famed for its bird reserve and its gastro pub, Snettisham has a church that can be seen from miles out to sea and one of the lowest crime rates in Norfolk.

The last time the village hit the headlines was when CCTV 
cameras were installed to protect its nativity scene, after drunken pranksters kidnapped the Three Wise Men.

But in 1971, Snettisham found itself at the centre of a major manhunt after the body of shopkeeper Edna May Robinson, 47, was found at her home on Beach Road. She had been stabbed 10 times.

Police set up road blocks on the coast road, the EDP of the time reported. Mrs Robinson’s son-in-law Philip Nobbs, then 22, was arrested after he went to a nearby pub and bragged about the killing.

Nobbs was jailed for life for the murder. He was released on licence in 1995 after serving 24 years.

Three years later, he killed his girlfriend Sharon Sweeney when she tried to throw him out of her flat and is now serving his second life sentence.

The Old Bailey heard how Nobbs had hit Miss Sweeney at least 10 times with a hammer, cut her throat with a Stanley knife and strangled her with a pair of tights.

The next day Nobbs walked into Bethel Street police station in Norwich and told stunned officers: “I slaughtered her.”

Sentencing Nobbs, Judge Neil Denison told him: “You know the sentence for murder is fixed by law – please go down.”

As he was led away, death threats were shouted from angry relatives of Miss Sweeney in the public gallery.

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