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Cringleford man and former soldier Alexander Palmer due back in court today after being charged with murder of Peter Wrighton, 83

PUBLISHED: 10:11 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 20:01 15 August 2017

Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

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A man charged with the murder of 83-year-old dog walker Peter Wrighton, had received an A-grade pass to become a paratrooper and served with the British Army for five years, it has emerged.

Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook. Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

The body of Mr Wrighton, a married father and grandfather from Banham, was discovered in woodland near East Harling on Saturday, August 5.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and head.

Alexander Palmer, 23, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, is set to appear at Norwich Crown Court today (Tuesday, August 15) after being charged with 
murder.

MORE: Man charged with murder of Peter Wrighton appears in court via video link

Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, who was murdered in East Harling. Picture Norfolk Constabulary Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, who was murdered in East Harling. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

As a 16-year-old Palmer, formerly of Old Buckenham, received a top grade after a gruelling selection process and in September 2010 was due to start training at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

An British Army spokesman confirmed he served in the army from September 2010 to November 2015.

Palmer appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday via videolink from Wymondham Police Investigation Centre (PIC).

The defendant, who was wearing a blue jumper and grey trousers and had facial hair, spoke only to confirm his details during the hearing which lasted just over two minutes.

Police are pictured at the scene of the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Police are pictured at the scene of the East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police had given his address as Dereham Road, Bawdeswell, but in court when asked to give his address Palmer, said “the one where I was arrested, or...” before stating Freesia Way in Cringleford.

The case was formally sent to the crown court, where Palmer will appear today, by district judge Nick Watson.

He was remanded in custody.

MORE: Man charged with murder of Banham grandfather Peter Wrighton

A number of members of the public, thought to include his fiancée, appeared to be supporting Palmer in court.

Police said The Street in East Harling remains closed whilst the investigation continues and officers are still working in the area, providing reassurance, speaking with witnesses and conducting house to house and CCTV 
enquiries.

Detectives are also searching and forensically examining a number of locations, including at Cringleford and Bawdeswell, where police confirmed Palmer was arrested, which are linked to the investigation.

Ronald Mercer, who lives near to the sealed off property in Bawdeswell, said he saw someone being arrested and put in an unmarked car at about 11.30am on Saturday.

Police said the searches would continue for a couple of days.

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