EAST HARLING MURDER: Dog walker suspects drug gangs might be responsible for 83-year-old man’s murder

Police cordon at East Harling where a man was murdered.

Picture Mark Westley
Police cordon at East Harling where a man was murdered. Picture Mark Westley
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A dog walker has revealed how he believed the 83-year-old victim could have been attacked by drug gangs using the area as a meeting point.

A local man said he and his wife walked where the victim’s body was found nearly every day.

Police cordon at East Harling where a man was murdered.

Picture Mark Westley

Police cordon at East Harling where a man was murdered. Picture Mark Westley

After speaking to police officers guarding the crime scene, he said: “I only came down here because it could have been me.

“I feel a bit gutted really. I’ve got to think of that old chap, he’s come up here in the morning, he’s gone and done his normal walk and some one has stabbed him to death.

“I would suggest that this area is a well known drugs exchange area. I cannot see why a random attacker would attack an 83-year-old unless it’s for drugs.

“It’s a shock to me that he’s only just got up and he’s just taken his dogs walking. It is known in the area, people are in and out here all the time.

“My wife sees what goes on a lot, they were in there at the end of June, one was about 20 and one was about 35.

“She has seen a lot of strange cars up that bit and you normally look to see if they have got a dog but they sit in their cars and then they are gone.

“I always carry a stick with when it’s dark and I’m walking just in case someone did come out.”

Concerned members of the community queued at the police cordon to inform officers of sightings of suspected drug deals in the quaint woodland beauty spot.

Forensic teams and police dog units continued to investigate the crime scene where several vehicles and two police pods were stationed.

The man, who made an eight-mile journey from his home, said the area had been popular with dog walkers for years but he and his wife had started spotting suspicious activity in the woods at the end of June.

“It’s the one place around here you can really let the dogs off,” he said.

“One was keeping watch and the other one was in and out in and out and them they swapped around and they were in there for 40 minutes with their car door open.

“Two days later on the Sunday afternoon I was just coming back on the pathway and there a young boy and he pulled up on his mountain bike, did a wheelie, flung his bike down and he was feeling about, picked up a package, smelt it and put it in his jacket.

“Once there was a chap in there, he was about 22 or 23 and he was just staring at me, what he was in there for I don’t know but we do see a lot of people in there.”

A Norfolk Police spokesman said they were investigating all lines of enquiry.