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Dog walking buddy scheme launched after Peter Wrighton murder in East Harling

PUBLISHED: 12:35 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 04:35 21 June 2018

Peter Wrighton. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Wrighton. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Archant

His shocking death had a profound effect on the community and those who, like he did, enjoy a quiet stroll in the woods with their dogs.

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

But now a new dog walking buddy scheme is to be launched to help those affected by the brutal murder of Peter Wrighton feel comfortable with going about their daily lives.

The event on Sunday, June 24 will also see a commemorative bench unveiled in memory of Mr Wrighton, from Banham, who was killed last year when he was attacked by Alexander Palmer while walking his dogs in East Harling woods.

Palmer, 24, was later sentenced to a minimum term of 28 years in prison after an eight-day trial, with the jury at Nottingham Crown Court taking less than an hour to convict the Cringleford man.

But the death still sent shockwaves through the community - and at 11am on Sunday residents and supporters are encouraged to join the walk, which will take place along the Gasthorpe Road, near Five Ways crossroads.

Alexander Palmer, 23, who was sentenced for the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.Alexander Palmer, 23, who was sentenced for the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

Police engagement officer PC Amy Lucas said: “We are aware the murder of Peter had a significant impact on the communities of East Harling and we want to encourage them to continue with their daily business.

“Community spirit is vitally important and we hope by using one of Peter’s loves, the spirit will return.

“This is a way for the community to feel safe and take control of a situation where they may have felt powerless. Hopefully, this scheme will provide a positive outcome to such a sad crime.

“I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

Kate Filby, clerk to Harling Parish Council, said: “We fully support any new groups that actively involve our community and help to promote a positive community spirit.

“East Harling is a busy and thriving village full of wonderful groups run by volunteers offering support to the elderly, disabled and lonely along with popular ‘Mardles’, Scout Group, karate and athletics club and much more.

“This new dog walking group will be very well received by East Harling and its neighbouring villages as a new way to enjoy the beautiful woodlands that surround our village whilst making new friends along the way.”

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