The neighbours of Banham’s Peter Wrighton, who was murdered whilst walking his dogs in East Harling, have told of their shock and have paid tribute to a ‘lovely’ man who was a ‘true gentleman’.
Mr Wrighton’s body was discovered on Saturday morning. He had suffered stab wounds to the head and neck.
Claire Hansey, 52, said: “He was a nice bloke, just a lovely bloke.
“You don’t expect to be murdered, particularly after getting to that age, not when you’re walking dogs.
“He was polite and if you did see him you put your hand up and that was it.
“He and his wife used to have cats too, they were animal lovers. It is horrible, that poor lady.
He absolutely loved his dogs and would do anything for him. It’s no surprise they stayed with him in his hour of need
“You just hoped that they catch whoever it is because it wasn’t just a knock on the head, it was absolutely horrific. That poor man.”
Melissa Nelson, 39, who lives nearby, said: “Peter was a true gentleman who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“I would often see him out about and while he wasn’t the centre of attention, he was always very polite to everyone he spoke to.
“He absolutely loved his dogs and would do anything for him. It’s no surprise they stayed with him in his hour of need.
“It’s heartbreaking what happened to him, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. I hope he is at peace now.”
A man who lives next door, but did not wish to be named, said: “I’m really shocked because he was 83, out walking his dogs and just got stabbed.
“He was a really nice man, I didn’t really know him but I met him now and again and we used to share words.
“He was obviously a man who cared for animals. It was the way he was.
“He lived there [next door] for at least 30 years and he and his wife kept themselves to themselves.”
Locals told how Mr Wrighton, who lived in London until his retirement, spent his days walking his own dogs and caring for animals without a home at the Dogs Trust charity.
Janet Morley said: “It’s just so sad. I met him many times down at the forest.
“He was such a lovely gentle man. He fostered dogs from the dogs trust.
“How could someone be so wicked? My thoughts are with his family. R.I.P Peter.”
Others took to social media to pay their respects and shared their disgust at the fatal attack on Mr Wrighton while he was out walking on Saturday morning.
Pearl Rivett said: “This brought me to tears, to live all those years and die in such a brutal way is heartbreaking.
Zoe Warnes wrote: “Absolutely heartbreaking.. And just baffling why on earth he would be a target for such a brutal horrific attack.
“Hope they catch whoever is responsible soon and they spend a lifetime behind bars.
June Gidney added: “He looks so gentle and kindly. He certainly didn’t deserve to end his days like this.
“I do hope the wicked person, or persons, can be caught and brought to justice which means a long, long time in prison. God bless his grieving family.”