Inquest opens into Weybread killings

Sylvia and Peter Stuart
Sylvia and Peter Stuart

Inquests on Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart have today been formally opened.

The body of Mr Stuart, 75, was found on June 3 near their home in Mill Lane but while Mrs Stuart, 69, has not been found, Suffolk police say there is sufficient evidence to believe that she too is dead.

These are a very, very sad and somewhat unusual set of circumstances in that the body of Mr Stuart has been found but the body of Mrs Stuart has not

Today at IP-City Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean heard that Mr Stuart died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

The hearing was told that the body of Mr Stuart was found wrapped in black material in a wooded area close to a stream.

Police had been alerted the same day when neighbours called the couple’s daughter Christy Paxman to say they had not been seen around the village for some time and had not attended their regular dance class.

Mr and Mrs Stuart had last been seen by their daughter at home on May 28, the inquest heard.

Detective Inspector Kevin Heywood said all efforts to locate Mrs Stuart had “proved negative” but police believed they had sufficient evidence to show that she was dead.

The Coroner accepted that both Mr and Mrs Stuart died between May 28 and June 3.

Dr Dean formally opened the inquests before adjourning the hearing to a provisional date of January 20 to allow police enquiries to be completed.

The Coroner said: “These are a very, very sad and somewhat unusual set of circumstances in that the body of Mr Stuart has been found but the body of

Mrs Stuart has not.”

Mr and Mrs Stuart, who were last seen alive at Goodies Farm Shop on May 29, had previously lived in the Grays area of south Essex.

A 43-year-old man, Ali Qazimaj who was arrested in Luxembourg and extradited to the UK, is currently in custody charged with the murder of Mr and Mrs Stuart.

Last month Qazimaj refused to leave his cell at HMP Belmarsh in south London to appear at Ipswich Crown Court via a video link.

Judge John Devaux entered not guilty pleas for Qazimaj, who claims his name is Vital Dapi, and who is due to make his next court appearance on December 2.

A provisional date for his trial has been set as January 16.