Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Martlesham: How the reclusive Doris Shelley was found cowering in corner by her concerned neighbour

14:04 11 February 2013

Doris Shelley

Doris Shelley's bunglalow

Archant

DORIS Shelley was a reclusive woman and devoted animal lover who cared for cats on her meagre pension.

shares

Her neighbour Harold Scopes broke into the widow’s Martlesham home on February 11, 1993, after becoming concerned for her well-being. Mr Scopes found the pensioner cowering on her haunches leaning against her gas stove.

Blood matted her hair making the old lady barely recognisable. The diminutive vegetarian had been hit with a blunt object, leaving her semi-conscious in a pool of blood.

Mrs Shelley died from her injuries ten days later in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

In 2002 Mr Scopes who was aged 95 at the time, said: “When I saw her I tried to comfort her. But seeing me, a man, just seemed to make it worse and she started shaking. She was in an absolutely terrible state.”

Simply known as ‘Shelley’, the 82-year-old had seemed to prefer the company of animals to people after being widowed in her 20s.

She had few relatives. Mrs Shelley became a virtual recluse after the death of her husband.

Mr Scopes said: “She wasn’t an easy woman to get to know. In fact she was a most peculiar woman.

“She was quite suspicious when you spoke to her, and you rarely got a word out of her.

“The inside of her property was quite unkempt and you really wouldn’t have chosen it if you were going to break in.”

Mr Scopes became concerned when a woman who delivered shopping to Mrs Shelley couldn’t get a reply.

“I broke in through the lounge window although I later discovered a side door was unlocked, which I imagine was how her killer got in because there was no sign of a break-in.

“Shelley was on her haunches in the kitchen covered in blood. Her face was black and blue. She was scared stiff when she saw me. I had a job to get near her to do anything.”

In May 1993, the murder featured on BBC’s Crimewatch, prompting 50 calls and the construction of two photofits of men seen loitering around Mrs Shelley’s home in the days leading up to the attack.

One was aged 25-30, stocky, 6ft tall and with collar length wavy brown hair going into dreadlocks. He was seen on February 8, 9 and 10.

A second man aged 40, 5ft 10in tall, slim with dark brown hair and a fair complexion, carrying a Halfords bag, was seen standing by Martlesham underpass near the A1214 roundabout.

Doris Shelley’s bungalow was eventually torn down and the land sold. The money was used to set up an animal sanctuary in Ukraine in her memory.

A plaque was put up there. It read: “In memory of Doris Shelley who devoted her life to the care of animals”.

Related articles

shares

0 comments

The Script Thetford High Lodge 2015-104

Chart-topping Dubliners The Script were back at Thetford last night to kick-start a weekend of big-name open-air concerts at the forest venue.

A former 4th July Celebration at RAF Feltwell.

A popular July 4 celebration organised by American airbases in west Suffolk has been cancelled due to “local threats”.

New Street, Woodbridge

An 82-year-old woman from Leiston who died yesterday following a crash in New Street, Woodbridge, has been named by police.

Luke Chambers models the new Ipswich Town away kit for 2015/16.

Ipswich Town’s new away kit launches tomorrow, although supply issues will affect the amount of stock available in the youth sizes of the strip.

Louise Chalklen and her son Aaron have fun fun colouring an action hero book.

Hard-working, stressed out adults are turning to a new craze that is sweeping Suffolk to help them switch off and forget about the pressures of day-to-day life.

Dr Dan Poulter is elected with 30, 317 votes.

The impact of Scottish devolution on the rest of the United Kingdom will be scrutinised by a Suffolk MP.

PC Ali Maidment with Jasmine and Tenzin

A police officer nicknamed ‘Robocop’ for his prolific arrest rate met his match in the early hours of this morning – after being confronted by a 2ft snake.

The fire service have extinguished a car fire in Yaxley.

Firefighters have tackled a car fire in Mellis Road in Yaxley, near Eye.

Drink drive campaign catches 102 drivers.

Essex Police arrested 102 drivers in the county during its June campaign.

Train delay after passenger pulled communications cord.

The 2.30pm London Liverpool Street to Norwich train has been delayed after a passenger pulled the emergency cord.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages