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Colchester: Grieving mother pays tribute to her son James Attfield after he was killed in violent attack

PUBLISHED: 00:01 31 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:39 31 March 2014

James Attfield, 33, from Colchester, who died after he was found with injuries in the town's Castle Park

James Attfield, 33, from Colchester, who died after he was found with injuries in the town's Castle Park

Archant

Tributes were paid last night to a “vulnerable” 33-year-old father who was killed in a violent attack in Colchester.

Police at the scene in Castle Park in Colchester after a body was discovered. Police at the scene in Castle Park in Colchester after a body was discovered.

James Attfield, also known as Jim, of East Bay, Colchester, was found by a member of the public just before 5.45am on Saturday in the town’s Castle Park.

Police believe the attacker used a bladed weapon as Mr Attfield had suffered serious injuries to his upper body, including to his head and hands.

He died at the scene despite the efforts of paramedics. Police are treating his death as murder and detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are investigating.

His mother, Julie Finch, said in a statement: “James was known as Jim to his family and was always shy and polite. Over the years people commented on how good his manners were. He loved karaoke and would often visit local Colchester bars to take part. He also enjoyed playing darts and watching stand-up comedy.

“Four years ago Jim was involved in a car accident which left him with a brain injury and caused the left side of his body to be weak. The injury affected his reasoning and speech.

“Jim had always preferred going for a drink in a quiet ‘old man’s pub’ rather than clubbing and never had many friends his own age. After the accident he was vulnerable and did not like going to crowded places as he knew he needed to keep away from trouble to avoid any risks which could lead to further injury.”

The family said that Mr Attfield, who was a father, son and brother, was “loved by all”.

Officers set up a 1.5mile-long cordon between Wakefield Close and Riverside Place and closed the park as a forensic team began trying to piece together what had happened.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett, senior investigating officer, said: “Castle Park is used at all hours of the day and night and I’m sure someone will have seen something.

“I really need to hear from anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the park, anyone who heard anything untoward, or anyone who thinks they may know who is responsible for Jim’s death.

“Equally I would invite the person or people responsible to hand themselves in.

“We have not yet been able to establish a motive for this violent attack during which we believe a bladed weapon has been used.

“Until the post-mortem examination has been carried out I am unable to say what that weapon may have been or to elaborate on the injuries caused.”

The family added that even after Mr Attfield’s accident he was “always smiling” and always challenging himself to be “the best he could be”. Anyone with information should call police 101.

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A man has died after a crash involving a tractor on the A14 Orwell Bridge this morning, police have confirmed. The bridge has remained closed since the incident but is expected to reopen before 2.30pm.

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