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Three arrested in OAP murder hunt

PUBLISHED: 07:17 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 October 2010

STEVE DOWNES

Police investigating the murder of a Norfolk pensioner were last night questioning three men arrested in raids across the country.

Police investigating the murder of a Norfolk pensioner were last night questioning three men arrested in raids across the country.

Officers arrested men in Surrey, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire on Wednesday morning and late evening.

The three were taken to North Walsham and Dereham police stations for questioning in connection with the murder of 95-year-old war veteran Ralph Platten.

The arrests come more than five months after Mr Platten, known as Tiger, died following an attack in his own home.

Four men burst into his house at St Michael's, Sutton, near Stalham at around 5pm on January 3.

The gang pinned him to the floor, breaking his hip and inflicting other injuries while they ransacked his home.

Mr Platten, who would have celebrated his 96th birthday last month, was rushed to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but died after an operation on the broken hip.

Yesterday, a police spokesman said: "Months of detailed and dedicated inquiries have taken place throughout the country, often involving other police forces."

The spokesman said a "carefully planned" operation had seen murder squad officers arrest a 36-year-old in Surrey and a 35-year-old in Lincolnshire - both on Wednesday morning.

Late on Wednesday night the third man, aged 26, was picked up in Yorkshire.

The murder sent shockwaves through the quiet village and detectives leading the investigation received a deluge of calls about it as relatives made an emotional plea for help in hunting down the gang.

As the police investigation was launched, detectives said they were "almost certain" the gang knew their victim and were keen to track down witnesses who saw a speeding red car with its headlights on full at the time of the attack.

As reported by the EDP in April, Det Chief Insp Colin Pearce and his team released an image of an old-style red Vauxhall Cavalier car, possibly a J reg.

Officers sifted through hours of CCTV footage in a bid to trace the red car which had been seen parked on New Road, Sutton, with four people inside wearing hooded tops.

Forensic experts also scoured guttering put up at Mr Platten's house shortly before Christmas in the hope it could hold clues.


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