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Fourth arrest in murder hunt

PUBLISHED: 11:45 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

Ralph Platten.

Ralph Platten.

RICHARD BATSON

A fourth man has been arrested in the hunt for the killers of Norfolk pensioner Ralph Platten.

The man in his 30s was picked up in Durham after escaping from prison and is today being interviewed at a Norfolk police station.

A fourth man has been arrested in the hunt for the killers of Norfolk pensioner Ralph Platten.

The man in his 30s was picked up in Durham after escaping from prison and is today being interviewed at a Norfolk police station.

It is the latest development in the sixth-month murder hunt following the killing of the 95-year-old war veteran who died from injuries after an assault and robbery at his home at Sutton near Stalham.

Three men arrested last week after a series of police swoops in Surrey, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire were released at the weekend.

But Det Insp Paul Cunningham today confirmed the fourth arrest, and said the murder team was also seeking a fifth man who was posted on a nationwide wanted list.

The fourth man was arrested last week because he was a prison absconder, but was also “on the radar” of the Platten murder squad.

The other three's release to enable further inquiries was “quite normal”, said Det Insp Cullingham.

He assured that although the investigation seemed to go quiet over many weeks, it was a “very active inquiry” involving the whole of the 30-strong Norfolk Major Investigation Team.

“People think solving crimes like this are like an episode of Morse, and over in an hour. But we have a team of experienced detectives who special in major crimes, and have been beavering away all this time.

“We have now reached the arrests stage. And, just the same as every murder in Norfolk, this case will remain under investigation until someone is convicted,” he added.

The killing of Mr Platten, known as Tiger, shocked the quiet community of Sutton where he was a respected as an independent widower, who had survived two wars and a cancer scare, and who would not hurt a fly.

He answered the door at tea time on January 3 to be bundled over by a group of intruders who assaulted him, and pinned him down, before stealing hundreds of pounds of cash from his bungalow home. Mr Platten suffered head injuries and a broken hip and died in hospital the following day.

Police appeals and inquiries have centered around a red car seen speeding away from the scene, a group of people wearing hoodie jackets near the scene, and forensic tests on some guttering put up by visiting workmen.


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