Neighbour witnessed brutal attack

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM A neighbour described how she witnessed a brutal attack on an elderly couple at the hands of their schizophrenic son just four months before they were killed, a court heard.

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM

A neighbour described how she witnessed a brutal attack on an elderly couple at the hands of their schizophrenic son just four months before they were killed, a court heard.

Georgina Clere told a Norwich Crown Court jury how she had phoned the police about the incident after hearing screams from Marguerite Dunkley, 80, and seeing their son Terrence grab his father Arthur Dunkley, 83, and drag him along the driveway and kick him.

She later went to see the couple at their home at Manor Close in Lyng, near Dereham and found them both very shaken.

She said that Mrs Dunkley told her “I thought he was going to kill us” but said she refused to press charges against Terrence saying: “I can't do it - he's my son.”

The prosecution allege that Dunkley, 54, of Tottenhill, near King's Lynn later went on to stamp on their heads and chests before piling furniture on their bodies on June 12 last year at their home.

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The jury was told that Dunkley, a former teacher, was not fit to stand trial for two counts of murder because of his schizophrenia and that their role was only to determine whether he committed the act he was accused of.

Marguerite's sister, Kathleen Kennedy, also told the jury how Terrence Dunkley had been resentful of his parents. “He resented everything they had even though they had worked hard for everything.”

She described his behaviour as “bizarre” and had suggested to her sister that he got help but said her sister had “pooh poohed” the idea. She had been aware of an earlier incident when he had gone to the house and been abusive to his parents. She said he had been sectioned after he told police he had been abducted by aliens and insisted his parents were not his real parents.

Mrs Kennedy also knew about the incident in February last year which was described in court by a neighbour and said: “The police wanted to prosecute but she would not make a charge.”

She said on the day of the killings she had been concerned when her sister had not turned up to join her for the voluntary work they both did at Oxborough Hall on Sunday, June 12. She said her sister was “utterly reliable” and was anxious what might have happened.

She had contacted police and also phoned the couple's youngest son Nicholas Dunkley to get him to make a check they were both all right. It was not until later that evening she heard from police that they were dead.

She told the jury she immediately said: “Was it Terrence? I had been expecting this and these were my words.”

Another neighbour Frances Hunt told how she had helped Marguerite and Arthur after the incident in February and said that Mrs Dunkley had also told her she would not press charges and said: “As a mother you would know. I can't wash my hands of him.”

Mrs Hunt had also phoned 999 for Nicholas Dunkley the day the couple were found dead at their home.

At first she thought he was the other son Terrence but later found out it was the couple's youngest son.

He had told her he was “really worried” about their safety.

The trial continues.