Search

Woman stabbed to death was found in grounds of former mental hospital

PUBLISHED: 14:20 20 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 22 June 2020

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

East Anglian News Service

Investigations are continuing into the death of a woman who was found in the grounds of a former mental hospital on the outskirts of Norwich.

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Investigations are continuing into the death of a woman who was found in the grounds of a former mental hospital on the outskirts of Norwich.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the woman was stabbed to death near the derelict remains of St Andrew’s Hospital in Thorpe St Andrew.

Police launched an investigation after officers were called to the site on Northside, off Yarmouth Road, at about 12.45pm on Friday following reports a woman had been found with serious injuries.

An abandoned bike cordoned off by police on Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News ServiceAn abandoned bike cordoned off by police on Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Paramedics, including the air ambulance, attended the scene but the woman was pronounced dead despite receiving treatment

A Home Office post mortem examination which took place on Saturday morning established stab wounds to have caused her death.

It is thought she may have been attacked on wasteland next to the former hospital.

An abandoned bike cordoned off by police on Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News ServiceAn abandoned bike cordoned off by police on Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Police armed units and a helicopter joined the search for the suspect.

A man was later arrested in Warwickshire in connection with the incident and has been brought back to Norfolk. He is being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a male and female walking in the vicinity of Thorpe Old Hospital on Friday afternoon.

The St Andrew's Hospital was originally known as the Norfolk County Asylum and dates back to the 19th century. Picture: East Anglian News ServiceThe St Andrew's Hospital was originally known as the Norfolk County Asylum and dates back to the 19th century. Picture: East Anglian News Service

The site is next to the current Northside House mental health clinic run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust.

Police said there was no link between the incident and Northside House, formerly known as the Norvic Clinic.

The derelict hospital, which was first known as the Norfolk County Asylum, opened in 1814 and operated as a mental health facility until it closed in 1998..

Police at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice at the derelict site of the former St Andrew's Hospital where a woman died in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: East Anglian News Service

Despite previous plans to turn the site into a business park the buildings remain empty and derelict.

The scene was sealed off as forensic officers in white suits searching the area, while a separate section of Northside, the road that leads to St Andrew’s Business Park and the former Archant print works, was cordoned off around a black bicycle.

On Saturday afternoon police officers remained at the site and an area of land surrounding the building was still taped off.

Police seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News Service

A worker employed at a nearby site, who preferred not to be named, said: “The police came to look at our CCTV to see if they could identify anything but unfortunately our cameras just go that far.

“This is an out of the way place so it is an odd place for something like this to happen but we do get all sorts of people coming up here.

“We have lots of people walking their dogs and cars parked playing music fairly regularly and a lot of kids coming up hanging around the old building.

Police seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News ServicePolice seal off part of Northside in Thorpe St Andrew as part investigation into the death of a woman. Picture: East Anglian News Service

“A couple of years ago we had travellers on that site, but there haven’t been any people camping or rough sleeping on there recently as far as I know.”

The death has shocked the local community. Thorpe St Andrew Mayor John Fisher said: “This is most unusual in such a low-crime area. I’ve lived here for 37 years and I don’t think I’ve heard of anything quite like this ever before.

“My thoughts are with the family and I hope that the authorities are able to give them the support they will need at this very difficult time.”

Reacting to the news of the stabbing, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said: “This is obviously very shocking and worrying. I would urge local residents to contact police if they have any information or insight into what happened.

“Whatever the circumstances, my thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.”

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gray, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Unit, who is leading the investigation, said: “The victim and suspect are known to one another and I would like to hear from anyone who may witnessed the incident or has information concerning it.”

Anyone with information should contact the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on 101.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News