1. ITV Report

Witness breaks down in tears as she describes finding mauled body in Norfolk woods

Peter Wrighton was killed while walking his two dogs Credit: Family photo.

The woman who discovered the body of Peter Wrighton in woods in Norfolk cried as she gave evidence in court today.

The 83-year-old was killed while walking his two dogs at East Harling on August 5 last year. His body - which had been stabbed repeatedly - was found having been dragged under a bramble bush.

Alexander Palmer, 24, admits being in the area at the time of the attack but denies the pensioner's murder, despite having a grudge against dog walkers, a jury heard.

Speaking at the second day of the trial at Nottingham Crown Court, Anne Precious broke down in tears as she told the jury she had found Mr Wrighton's body while walking her dogs with her husband, Nigel.

"I thought he had fallen over at first and I assumed he was the owner of the dogs. "I did bend down initially and I was going to help him get up. But then I saw the injury and I was pretty sure he was dead."

– Anne Precious, witness
Forensic teams on the scene at East Harling in Norfolk Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Police Constable Andrew London was one of the first officers on the scene.

He said police initially thought it may have been an animal attack and that the wound to Mr Wrighton's throat was so severe it looked like parts were missing.

"I had never seen anything like it. It was such a strange injury, I thought 'has he been attacked by his own dog?'"

– PC Andrew London

PC London said he had seen a "very large pool of blood" across the track which was approximately 2ft in diameter.

Norfolk Police were called to the scene by Mr Precious, who at first thought the body was a mannequin before "reality dawned".

Alexander Palmer denies murder

Palmer, of Bawdeswell, Norfolk, denies a single charge of murder. Opening the prosecution case on Tuesday, Stephen Spence told the jury the defendant, who was a former soldier, had previously been treated by mental health doctors.

He had told them how a voice in his head called "Little Alex" told him to harm people or kill him.

The trial, set to last for two to three weeks, continues.

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