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Dereham man Richard Beane shows no emotion as he pleads guilty to murder of Brian Heed from Toftwood

PUBLISHED: 11:30 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 21 April 2017

Richard Beane of Brunswick Close has pleaded guilty to murdering Brian Heed in Dereham at the beginning of the year. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Richard Beane of Brunswick Close has pleaded guilty to murdering Brian Heed in Dereham at the beginning of the year. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

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A 49-year-old man who “exploited the kind nature” of his victim has admitted murdering Brian Heed who was left undiscovered for days at a house in Toftwood, Dereham.

The body of 69-year-old Brian Heed was found in Boyd Avenue. Picture: Ian Burt The body of 69-year-old Brian Heed was found in Boyd Avenue. Picture: Ian Burt

Police had been called to Boyd Avenue, Toftwood, at 3.21pm on February 5 after a member of the public reported his concerns.

Officers gained entry to the property and found the body of 69-year-old Mr Heed, who had been subjected to a significant assault.

A 49-year-old man was promptly arrested after the startling discovery, and a police cordon was put in place beside a quiet country lane in Hardingham, near Dereham, in connection with the murder investigation.

It later emerged officers believed the body of Mr Heed could have been within the house for several days before being uncovered.

It is believed the body of Brian Heed could have been within the house for several days before being uncovered.  Picture: Ian Burt It is believed the body of Brian Heed could have been within the house for several days before being uncovered. Picture: Ian Burt

Richard Beane was charged with murder and appeared at Norwich Crown Court today where he admitted killing Mr Heed, sometime between February 1 and February 6.

He had previously denied murder.

MORE: Richard Beane denies Toftwood murder at previous Norwich Crown Court hearing

Dressed in a grey shirt and glasses, Beane, of Brunswick Close, Dereham, showed no emotion as he entered his plea.

Detective Chief Inspector, Marie James, said: “Beane exploited the kind nature of Brian and when he challenged his behaviour he was subjected to a furious violent attack which resulted in Mr Heed’s death.

“My thoughts are with Brian’s family at this time and I hope that today’s outcome will give them some form of closure knowing that Beane will be sentenced to a significant period of time. I hope this outcome provides the public with reassurance that we will use all resources available to us to bring offenders to justice.”

Judge Stephen Holt adjourned sentence until Friday, May 12.

As previously reported a Home Office post mortem examination was inconclusive; however there was evidence that Mr Heed was subjected to a significant sustained assault which included the use of a knife.

Neighbours at the time described him as a quiet man who kept himself to himself.

One said: “I can’t believe it. It’s so tragic.”

The area has been described by residents as a friendly and quiet neighbourhood with very little crime.

Another resident said: “It’s ever so quiet here usually. You couldn’t get a nicer place to live.”

The Deputy Mayor of Dereham revealed the community was left shocked by the murder of Brian Heed.

However, she reassured residents that it remains one of the safest places to live in Norfolk.

Councillor Hilary Bushell said: “In Dereham murders are so rare so this news can bring nothing but peace of mind which is really good for everyone concerned.

“I’ve lived here for 44 years and there have been many changes over the years but we’ve been very, very fortunate to have not had many murders at all.

“I think you could count them on one hand in the time I’ve lived here and, in this day and age, we can consider ourselves very fortunate for that. I would not hesitate to recommend anyone lives here.

“Now all our thoughts must be with the friends and family of the victim and this news should help to give them some sort of closure which is so important in events such as this.”

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