June 20 2013 Latest news:
PETER WALSH, Crime correspondent
Thursday, September 6, 2012
A woman who was strangled during a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads has been described as a “devoted” nurse who was a “truly wonderful and well-respected” member of her team.
The bodies of the woman, 49, from Mitcham in Surrey, and a man named locally as John Didier, who is believed to be from the USA, were recovered from the River Bure on Sunday.
They were found by divers brought in by police after the woman’s teenage daughter was found alone aboard a hired pleasure cruiser, Admiral, moored opposite the entrance to Salhouse Little Broad.
A Home Office post mortem examination revealed the dead woman is likely to have died as a result of strangulation while the man died as a result of drowning.
Police continue to treat the deaths as a domestic incident and are not seeking anyone else in connection with it.
A statement from Trinity hospice, where the dead woman is understood to have worked as a palliative care nurse, has paid tribute to her devotion and dedication to her work and patients.
It said: “She worked at Trinity Hospice for over 13 years and was a truly wonderful and well-respected member of our home care nursing team.
“She was devoted to improving the lives of her patients and ensuring they could remain at home if they wished.
“Everyone at Trinity is devastated by this tragedy, and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”
Neighbours of the couple, who lived together in Mitcham, where police teams have taken away a computer and other material in brown envelopes, have spoken of their shock at the deaths.
Neighbour Julian Jones said: “She was quiet. She lived with her daughter, by themselves, for the last 10 years. I have lived here for 15 years. She’s known in the area.
The 21-year-old also spoke about John Didier, saying: “He had only recently moved in the last few months. I spoke to him for the first time a few months ago.
“It’s crazy, you wouldn’t have thought it round here.”
Maz Jones, 25, another resident of Beechholme Avenue said: “You just wouldn’t expect it. We have been asking the police and they have not been saying anything. I think other residents will react in the same way.
“Year’s ago we used to have new years eve parties and she would be there with her kid.”
Another neighbour, who had known the woman for many years, said: “She was a lovely lady and she was absolutely devoted to her daughter. She idolised her. I have known her for a long time.
“I have lived here about 15 years. She moved in just after me. Our daughters are the same age.
“We just thought there had been a burglary or something. She worked but I don’t know what she did. I have known her a long time and the kids played together.”
Another neighbour said mother and daughter had lived in Tooting before moving to Mitcham.
Police, have said previously they are treating the matter as a “domestic incident”, and have revealed t a domestic homicide review (DHR) will take place in due course to ensure agencies are responding appropriately to victims of domestic violence by offering and/or putting in place suitable support mechanisms, procedures, resources and interventions with an aim to avoid future incidents of domestic homicide and violence.
The review will also assess whether agencies have sufficient procedures and protocols in place, which were understood and followed by their staff and where there may be a need to improve these procedures.
Det Supt Fry said he would not comment on speculation surrounding the girl, who was taken into protective custody on Saturday night and who is now being supported by relatives, whose welfare he insisted was of “paramount importance”.
It is not yet known how long the woman or her partner had been dead before they were pulled from the water, or for how long the girl had been on the boat.
Det Supt Fry said police will be conducting inquries to try and build a time line “to try and establish a sequence of events” but added that was not yet finished.
The family had hired the cruiser, Admiral, from Le Boat yard in Ferry View Road, Horning. A spokesman for the confirmed they had holidayed with Le Boat on the Broads on several previous occasions.
Divers brought in by police launched a search after officers, alerted by the boat hire company concerned that one of its vessels had not returned, found the woman’s daughter alone on the boat moored in an isolated inlet between Wroxham Broad and Salhouse Broad.
Mystery surrounds how long the craft had been moored at the quiet inlet opposite Salhouse Little Broad where it was found.
Some river users suggested it may have been there for several days with the curtains strangely closed even during the heat of the day.