May 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
A post mortem examination into the deaths of Barry and Jean Ellis were carried out yesterday after their bodies were discovered at their detached bungalow in Upper Grange Crescent on Tuesday.
Initial findings suggest Mrs Ellis, who was in her 60s, may have died from natural causes but further toxicology tests are set to be carried out to establish the exact cause of death of her husband.
Police have confirmed the deaths are not being treated as suspicious and officers have said there is no evidence to suggest the couple had died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which had been speculated upon.
Emergency services had to force their way into the bungalow on Tuesday lunchtime after window cleaner Roy Holland raised the alarm.
Mr Holland, who had worked at the couple’s house for more than 10 years, became worried when he noticed full pints of milk on their doorstep, and his concern deepened when they failed to come out to pay him, as they normally used to.
He said: “There were six pints of milk on the doorstep so I asked a couple of neighbours, has anyone seen them and no one had for a couple of days.
“The cars were on the drive, they never go on holiday, they hadn’t come out and they never went out without each other.
“I looked through the front window and saw the gentleman dead in the chair. The blinds were tilted and I could see him slumped in the chair.”
The deaths have caused shock waves across the quiet seaside village and left residents saddened and stunned.
Neighbours described the couple – who used to run a stall at Great Yarmouth Market – as friendly and pleasant and said they were always seen together.
Maureen Tarrant, 75, said: “They’re such a nice couple, they were quiet and just went their own way.
“They were very pleasant, it’s so sad. I couldn’t believe it when I came home and I saw all the emergency services. I thought there’d just been a break-in, I never dreamt of anything like it.
“It’s such a shock.”
Next door neighbour Geoffrey Sutton added: “They were a nice couple, they always went out together and were very friendly. They kept themselves to themselves but we used to have a chat out here on the driveway whenever we saw each other.”
Mr Ellis, who was in his 70s, was a former member of Great Yarmouth Chess Club, and fellow players were sorry to learn of his death.
Captain Dave Twitchell described Mr Ellis as “quiet but friendly” and said he was at one time well known in the local chess scene.
He said: “He played for Yarmouth for a couple of seasons in the 1980s and went on to play for the Norfolk and Norwich club in Norwich. He also played for Lowestoft in his youth.”
He said Mr Ellis had given up over-the-board play in later years but carried on postal chess.
The Ellis’ were also well known among stall holders at Great Yarmouth Market as they had a stand for more than 30 years selling men and women’s clothing.
Fellow stall holders described Mrs Ellis as “bubbly” and Mr Ellis as “eccentric” and said he could always be seen wearing a flat cap and trench coat.
A file has now been passed to the coroner and an inquest is due to open soon.