MURDER TRIAL: Weybread couple were thinking of selling village home before their murder, daughter tells court

Sylvia and Peter Stuart

Sylvia and Peter Stuart

The daughter of a Weybread couple has told a court her parents were considering selling their village cottage before they were murdered.

Ali Qazimaj, 43, allegedly used “severe force” to stab Peter Stuart, 75, nine times before attempting to hide him in tarpaulin in a water-filled ditch near to his home. He is also charged with the murder of Peter’s wife, Sylvia, 69, even though her body has never been found.

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Mr Stuart wasn’t ready to sell the property, but the court heard he was later approached by a man in his garden who claimed he knew someone who would be interested in buying it.

It is not known who that man was.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown court today, Christie said: “Dad was surprised at that because he hadn’t had anybody round to value the house because he had little bits, he had some jobs to do to the place.”

The court heard after concerns were raised when the Stuarts didn’t attend their regular line dancing classes, Christie called local hospitals to see if her parents were there.

Her friends, who lived nearby to her parents, visited their cottage and found a key on a ledge, a location Christie told the court she wouldn’t have expected it to be.

The friends went into the house and didn’t find them so after speaking to other family members, Christie called the police to report her parents missing.

On June 5, Christie was at the home of her brother-in-law’s, Christopher Paxman, when he received a call from his father Sidney Paxman.

She said: “He (Christopher) said that his dad had rang and said that this chap Ali had been round after work or something, can’t remember the exact details but he had been round after work and the gist was ‘I have done something terrible’.”

Christie told the court she had never met Ali but knew her father-in-law was close with a man called Ali and he would help with his shopping and take him to car boot sales.

The court was told when officers were searching for her parents she was told a body had been found, but she didn’t know at first whether her mum or dad was dead.

Christie married Steven Paxman in October 2003 and the couple have one daughter together called Sophie, aged 12.

They wanted to have their own business running dog kennels but needed help financing the idea.

The Paxmans and the Stuarts lived together in a cottage in Weybread, which they renovated, with the Stuarts living in an annex, and a declaration of trust was made that they would share a profit if parts of it were sold.

Later on the Paxmans decided to sell the cottage for nearly £400,000 and move to Leicestershire, making a profit of £160,000 with £80,000 being owed to the Stuarts.

They repaid the £40,000 almost immediately but said they couldn’t afford the other half at that time so it was deferred.

The court was told Sylvia wanted to drop the debt owed but Peter was “driven by money” and wanted it repaid.

Steven also gave evidence and described Sylvia as a “lovely lady” but Peter as a “different character”.

His father, Sidney Paxman, is also due to give evidence in the trial.