He fed his dogs, put food out for the birds and bought cakes as a treat for his wife - then an ‘ordinary day’ ended in murder

PUBLISHED: 17:15 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:06 21 February 2018

Peter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary


August 5 2017 was, as far as Peter Wrighton was concerned, going to be an ordinary day, a murder trial jury was told.

Peter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyPeter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Stephen Spence said on that day, like most others, Mr Wrighton fed his two dogs Gemma and Dylan and put some food out for the birds.

He was going to take his dogs for a walk at East Harling woods, an area known as The Heath, which was very popular with dog walkers.

MORE: Dog-walker, 83, tried to defend himself against knifeman with ‘strong desire to kill strangers’

He would usually stop at Banham to buy bread rolls for lunch but went to a shop at Kenninghall to buy some cakes as a treat for Anne, his wife of 53 years.

Police near the scene of the murder of Peter Wrighton in East Harling, Norfolk. 
Picture: Nick ButcherPolice near the scene of the murder of Peter Wrighton in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture: Nick Butcher

Normally Mr Wrighton would return home at about 11.45am, after walking the dogs, and the couple would have lunch together.

But Mr Spence said that on this day, after arriving at the Heath Mr Wrighton was attacked “out of the blue” and murdered.

He was stabbed repeatedly to the back of his head and neck and finally through his left eye, in an attack which left his head “almost severed from his body”, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

As well as the fatal wound to his neck Mr Wrighton’s injuries included cuts to his hands which suggested he had tried to defend himself in woodland at East Harling on August 5 last year.

Alexander Palmer. Picture: Facebook.Alexander Palmer. Picture: Facebook.

Following the attack it is believed his body was dragged a short distance away to an area of brambles where the married father and grandfather was found by dog walkers.

They reported the gruesome discovery to police.

Former soldier Alexander Palmer, 24, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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