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Tests may determine murderer's age

PUBLISHED: 12:46 14 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 07 July 2010

Medical tests may be carried out on the murderer of Dereham woman Elaine Walpole who claims he is 17 years old, because prosecution barristers believe he may be older.

Medical tests may be carried out on the murderer of Dereham woman Elaine Walpole who claims he is 17 years old, because prosecution barristers believe he may be older.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty last month of murdering Ms Walpole just days before her 48th birthday.

At Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday the man also pleaded guilty to assaulting another woman and stealing her handbag.

The African-born man is due to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, January 23 but the jail term will depend on his age.

Karim Khalil QC, who was prosecuting with John Morgans, said: “He will be over 18 when sentenced and that affects the minimum term.”

Defence barristers, QC Alison Levitt and Sam Blom-Cooper, agreed to further reports needed for sentencing.

Judge Peter Jacobs said the man was to be remanded in custody until next Friday when the case would continue at Norwich Crown Court.

Grandmother Ms Walpole was killed in her flat in Dreibholz Court in April last year and her body was found naked from the waist down three days after her death.

She had three stab wounds to her head and neck and more than 50 injuries, including bite marks to her face.

The teenager was found guilty of rape, murder and an affray in Dereham.

After the original court case Det Insp Jes Fry, who led the murder investigation, said officers suspected he was older than 17 and inquiries were ongoing into the issue.

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