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  1. ITV Report

Murder suspect to see psychiatrist before entering plea

Alexander Palmer, 24, is charged with the murder of 83-year-old grandfather Peter Wrighton, of Banham, Norfolk. Photo: Norfolk Police

A man accused of murdering an elderly dog walker in Norfolk woodland will be assessed by a psychiatrist before entering a plea.

Alexander Palmer, 24, is charged with the murder of 83-year-old grandfather Peter Wrighton, of Banham, Norfolk.

The body of retired BT worker Mr Wrighton, who had been walking his two dogs, was found in woods near the village of East Harling close to Thetford on 5 August.

He had been repeatedly stabbed in the neck and head.

Mr Wrighton had been walking his two dogs when he was stabbed near East Harling, Norfolk. Credit: Norfolk Police

Palmer, of Freesia Way, Cringleford did not enter a plea during a 12-minute hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday.

Judge Stephen Holt said he was reluctant to adjourn the hearing, but agreed to an application by defence barrister Paul Raudnitz to do so until 17 November.

"It appears to me that I've got to, as there are serious issues that need to be sorted out by experts, so I'm going to grant the application."

– Judge Stephen Holt
Alexander Palmer, 24, is charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Credit: Norfolk Police

The bearded defendant, who has short brown hair and was dressed in a red T-shirt, appeared by videolink from Belmarsh prison in south-east London.

He spoke only to confirm his details.

A provisional trial date has been set for 12 February 2018.