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'She was very friendly'- Former neighbour 'surprised' to learn of alleged care home murder

PUBLISHED: 12:24 17 July 2019

Grays Fair Court in New Costessey. Picture: staff

Grays Fair Court in New Costessey. Picture: staff

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Tributes have been paid to a "very friendly" woman whose husband has been charged with murder after she was found dead in a residential home in Costessey.

Mill Street in Buxton. Pic: Peter WalshMill Street in Buxton. Pic: Peter Walsh

Police were called to Grays Fair Court care home in Dereham Road at 7.30pm on Friday, July 12 following reports that a woman had been found dead inside the property.

Pending formal Coroner's inquest proceedings, police have provisionally identified the deceased as Doreen Virgo, aged 89 and from Mill Street, Buxton.

A 70-year-old man, who wanted to remain anonymous, who has lived in Buxton for more than 30 years said he knew the woman.

He said: "The neighbours found Doreen very friendly and a nice person to know.

The village of Buxton. Photyo: SubmitThe village of Buxton. Photyo: Submit

"We would say hello to her."

The man said she had lived in the area for almost as long as they had but had recently been "in and out of hospital".

It was not thought she had been in the residential home in Costessey long.

The man said they were "surprised" to see police arrive in Buxton over the weekend.

He said they did not know what was happening until they saw it in the newspaper.

The Reverend David Hagan-Palmer, from St Andrew's Church, Buxton, said Mrs Virgo, and her family, would be in everyone's thoughts at this time.

He said: "Of course at this time thoughts and prayers are with the family trying to deal with what's happened and trying to understand what's happened.

"Buxton is a closely-knit commuity and we have to just wait to see what the details are."

He said the church was "always open" for people to come in and light a candle or say a few private prayers for Mrs Virgo and her family.

Revd Hagan-Palmer said the fact Mrs Virgo was found in the care home at Costessey on Friday meant it had taken "a little bit of time for people to realise what's going on".

He said: "I think in some ways its still rather new and raw to people.

"I think it's taken a little bit of time for people to realise what's going on and understand."

Steve Riley, vice chairman of Buxton with Lammas parish council, said: "It's shocking.

"Of course we don't know what's behind it or what's happened but it's just shocking.

"You live your life and get to this stage and all of a sudden, this happens. It's a shock isn't it?"

The result of a Home Office post mortem examination which took place on Sunday, June 14 showed that Doreen had died from compression of the neck.

Mick Virgo, aged 81 and also of Mill Street, Buxton, has been charged with murder and has been remanded in custody to appear at Norwich Magistrates Court this morning.

He spoke only to confirm his name and details during the short hearing.

Magistrates and the court clerk had to speak up during the short hearing as Virgo told them "I can't hear".

The case was formally sent to Norwich Crown Court on Thursday (July 18) morning.

Virgo was remanded in custody.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on 101 quoting Op Shorne.

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