Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

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.

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

0 comments

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

Emma Young, whose version of Make you Feel My Love, penned by Bob Dylan and covered by Adele, went viral following a performance in front of parents and staff at St Helena Hospice has performed at Colchester’s Party in the Park.

Team manager Alf Ramsey and trainer Harold Sheperdson (standing) watch England's victory over Germany in the 1966 World Cup

On the 50th anniversary of his greatest triumph, we are today celebrating Sir Alf Ramsey, the man who inspired both Ipswich Town and England to extraordinary levels of success and glory.

Police have been called to a collision between a Ford Focus and a Ford Fiesta near to the Suffolk Ski Centre.

Samuel and Darren Noller at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

A father and son cycling duo raised more than £3,000 for a Suffolk charity helping women struggling with addiction.

Sir Stanley Rous

Sir Alf Ramsey wasn’t the only Suffolk knight to have a key role in the World Cup Final of 1966.

Spanish students, who stayed with host families in Woodbridge, pictured during one of their day trips to London

A long-standing cultural exchange bringing Spanish students to Suffolk each summer has “broadened horizons” for all involved.

Motorcyclist banned

A handyman has lost his driving licence after police saw him speeding on his motorbike while over the drug-drive limit.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24