Neighbours of murdered woman tell of terrifying scene in close

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Neighbours have told of the terrifying scenes in their close that saw a mum-of-two dead and a man in custody on suspicion of murder.

One person living in Lake Close, Shipdham, near Dereham, said armed police descended en masse, while another told how a young girl ran out of the victim's home and hid behind a tree.

Others recalled the generosity of the woman, who used to hand out iced lollies and watermelon to children.

A man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday August 1, after the woman died in her home earlier that day.

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Norfolk Police were called to reports of concern for the woman's safety at 1.21pm and she was pronounced dead by paramedics at 2.18pm.

Neighbour Salvatore Cappuccio, 54, said that, though he could not place the exact day on which he heard it, he could hear "a hell of a lot of shouting" coming from the house in question on a day previous to the suspected murder. 

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“I was doing the car and I could hear shouting quite early in the morning... a hell of a lot of shouting," he said. 

Most Read

Referring to Sunday, he said: “I’d never seen anything like it. A yellow air ambulance landed... I realised something bad had happened, but it was too late to save her because she was gone."

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

It is understood the woman who died was Eastern European and had moved to the house in December. She is also thought to have had a 17-year-old daughter. 

“I only met the young one that used to ride up and down on her pushbike," said Mr Cappuccio.

"I just feel really, really sorry for the little girl.”

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Other neighbours shared their shock.

“I don’t like living here,” said David Arthurton, 58. “I've got to move somewhere I feel safer.”

Referring to Sunday, he said: “It was a bit frightening, I was wondering what was going on.” 

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Brown

Another neighbour said: “Her daughter came and played with the [other] kids [on the street].

“It was a complete shock… You don’t expect it in a village like this."

Jamie Douglas, 19, said: “You would see the kids play but you would never see them [the adults] go in and out.”

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“His car was there for a while and then it wasn’t, and the next thing you know, this happens.”

“The only time you would see him was when he was stood outside working on his car.” 

“My girlfriend said she saw an ambulance, seven police cars, five armed response [vehicles], one dog unit, and an air ambulance." 

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

Norfolk Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman died in a Shipdham home. Police remain outside the house in Lake Close. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Douglas said a fellow neighbour on the street had “never heard shouting” coming from the house.

Referring to this neighbour, Mr Douglas said: “His kids [used to] go round there for meals.”

In comments to the East Anglia News Service (EANS), Alice Wool, 19, said: 'She was an absolutely lovely lady. What has happened is just horrific. I literally can't believe it. She always smiled and waved at me when she used to go out shopping.

"'She had a partner, but I don't think he was there all the time, although he was there a lot. But for the last four weeks or so he has not really been around.

The oak tree next to the house in question on Lake Close, Shipdham.

The oak tree next to the house in question on Lake Close, Shipdham. - Credit: Noah Vickers

"I was out when it happened, but a neighbour told me that there were screams and the little girl ran out of the house and hid behind a tree.

"Then a neighbour came out and took her in before the police arrived. It must have been awful for her and I can't stop thinking about it."

Remembering the victim, she added: 'If she bought ice lollies for her daughters, she would always have extra ones to hand out to other children playing outside in the close. She used to cut up a whole water melon and share it out between all the local children."

She added: "I know she had also put some fruit trees in her back garden. She said she wanted fruit to grow so she could give it to the local children."

Lake Close is a cul-de-sac consisting of two and three bedroom houses and bungalows, built for the Saffron Housing Trust housing association.

Mr Arthurton told EANS: "I saw the police arrive just after 1pm, then more and more armed officers arrived. I think they were waiting for back up, but I saw them walking around with their guns.

"They ended up going round the back and breaking down the back door. A little while later they came out with a man in cuffs and they put him in a van."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter