Paramedics tell of bid to save pensioner

A woman accused of murdering a Norfolk pensioner did not appear upset when paramedics arrived on the scene to try to resuscitate 74 year-old Elsie Rees, a court heard today.

A woman accused of murdering a Norfolk pensioner did not appear upset when paramedics arrived on the scene to try to resuscitate 74 year-old Elsie Rees, a court heard today.

Instead Josephine Dougan, 58, was said to have was said to have appeared “very anxious” and kept trying to touch the body of Mrs Rees as paramedics tried in vain to resuscitate her.

The pensioner had been found lying on the floor with a head injury at her home in Canterbury Place, in Norwich, on June 15, 2005.

Paramedic Tristan Cork told a Norwich Crown Court jury: “She (Dougan) was frantically moving round the flat. She did not seem particularly upset she seemed more interested in walking round looking at things and telling us her story.”

Dougan, of Orchard Street, Norwich denies murdering Mrs Rees.

She has also pleaded not guilty to burgling Mrs Rees's home, deceiving a friend to give her up to £4,000 by pretending she had cancer and a lesser count of manslaughter.

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The prosecution alleges that Dougan, 58, constructed an elaborate cover story claiming she found Mrs Rees dying after earlier seeing a strange man outside Mrs Rees's home.

She claimed she tried to resuscitate her.

But at 5.20am - the time she claims she was trying to save her friend's life - a call from her mobile phone was made to Wally Webb's BBC Radio Norfolk phone-in.

Giving evidence, neighbour Jean Stoliday told how she was woken at about 6am by Dougan asking her to come as she thought she had found Mrs Rees dead in her flat.

Mrs Stoliday, who was a close friend on Mrs Rees, went to the flat with Dougan and found her friend lying lifeless on the floor with a head injury.

Mrs Stoliday said Dougan told her she had called on Mrs Rees at 11pm the previous night and had been followed by a man who she told to “sling his hook”.

She said Dougan then claimed to have called on Mrs Rees again at 2am and found her with a head wound which she had bathed with a tea towel and when she called again at 5am she found Mrs Rees lying on the floor and could feel no pulse.

Dougan claimed she had tried to resuscitate her but with no success.

Mrs Stoliday said she phoned for an ambulance and had waited at the flat with Dougan. She said she noticed spots of blood on Dougan's spectacles and her nose and arm.

“She said it must have got on her when she was wiping blood away from the head wound,” Mrs Stoliday said.

“She did not seem too concerned by it.”

Mrs Stoliday said she was a close friend of Mrs Rees but said that Dougan was not. She said months before she died Mr Rees had told her to tell Dougan not to call on her, adding: “She said please tell her (Dougan) not to come round mine any more. She is evil.”

The court adjourned after lunch as Dougan was feeling unwell and the trial is expected to resume today.