Teenager guilty of Norfolk grandmother's murder

A teenager accused of murdering a grandmother from Dereham in Norfolk has been found guilty by a jury this morning.The 17-year-old, who we cannot name for legal reasons, has been facing trial at Norwich Crown Court for raping and stabbing Elaine Walpole at her flat at Dreibholz Court, off Norwich Road, on April 26 and leaving her to bleed to death.

A teenager accused of murdering a grandmother in her Dereham home was convicted of her rape and murder this morning.

The 17-year-old, who we cannot name for legal reasons, was found guilty by a jury at Norwich Crown Court of raping and stabbing Elaine Walpole, 47, at her flat at Dreibholz Court, off Norwich Road, on April 26 and leaving her to bleed to death.

He was also found guilty of a charge of affray.

He had denied all three charges.

The teenager, who was 16 at the time of the crime, will be sentenced in the New Year.

Ms Walpole's body was discovered at her home on 29 April. A post-mortem revealed three stab wounds to her head and neck and more than 50 other injuries, including a bite mark to her face.

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Forensic examination of samples taken from her body identified the defendant who was then arrested on May 7 in Hertfordshire.

Detective Inspector Jes Fry, who led the investigation, said: “This was a brutal murder and it was shocking to see the extent of the injuries suffered by Elaine Walpole.

“I would like to thank her family for their trust and confidence throughout the enquiry. This investigation was carried out by Norfolk constabulary's major investigation team together with staff from the forensic investigations department, and involved close liaison with the CPS and several forensic specialists who contributed significantly to this conviction.”

A statement from Ms Walpole's family was released outside the court in Norwich.

It said: “Elaine was a devoted daughter, mother, sister and grandmother and she did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner. We are pleased that this person has been found guilty today.

"We have all been left shocked and absolutely devastated by what has happened and we still find it very difficult to come to terms with Elaine's death.

"She was a private person but she really enjoyed spending time with her family, in particular her twin daughters Kirsty and Sam, her grandchildren Jordan and Shannon and her mum Doreen. The whole family, Doreen's partner Barry, Dad Harry and his partner Shirley, sisters Jacqueline and Jill, brothers Michael, Dean and James and their wider families all continue to miss her greatly.

"The family would like to thank the police investigation team for their efforts and support throughout this very difficult time, in particular DI Fry, DC Getley and Family Liaison Officers Donna Wreford and Mike Fincham. We also thank the CPS for bringing this case to court so quickly.

"Our thanks also go to the media who have very kindly respected our privacy throughout the investigation. We would ask that they continue to respect this and now allow the family the opportunity to move forward with their lives.”