Alleged murder victim named

A MURDER inquiry began today after a 53-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed to death at her Suffolk home.

Colin Adwent

A MURDER inquiry began today after a 53-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed to death at her Suffolk home.

Soon after the discovery of her body, a white R-registered van crashed into a tree on the A12 around five miles away. The crash occurred near the Bredfield turn-off, between Ufford and Melton.

A 59-year-old man sustained spinal injuries as a result of the accident. He was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and taken to Ipswich Hospital under police escort.

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It is unlikely the suspect will be questioned by detectives until tomorrow morning.

The deceased female has been named locally as Sharon Green.

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An area around the site of the van crash was cordoned off by police and a layby around 150 yards away on the other side of the road was also sealed off.

Suffolk police were called to the house in Main Road, Marlesford, near Wickham Market, at 6.50am today.

The ambulance service was called to the scene at 6.44am and then Suffolk police were alerted.

The house where Mrs Green was found is the site of the former Old Bell public house, which was converted recently into a domestic property with a thatched roof and white stonewashed exterior.

The couple said to live there are Mrs Green and her husband Paul, the former landlord and landlady of the Old Bell.

Albert Riches, next-door neighbour, said of the couple: “They very much kept themselves to themselves. They are nice pleasant people and we got on with them well.

“Paul used to have a business where he did up driveways and roads and that type of thing.”

Mr Riches said Paul had possibly had heart trouble in the past.

He and his wife lived at the property with their two sons, who Mr Riches thought were both in their 20s.

The couple ran the pub before it closed down around five years ago. They have been living at the property for around 10 years.

Mr Riches said he thought they had come to Suffolk from the Essex area, possibly close to London. However, the pub shutting down was a big blow to them.

He added the village would be saddened and stunned by the tragedy.

He said: “It's awfully sad. Most people will be shocked like I am.”

Another neighbour, Mandy Holmes, said she realised something had happened when her daughter went to work this morning.

“The dog at the pub was barking and it's not normally out at that time,” she said. “I thought that was strange. Around 7.30am I looked out of the window and saw police cars and an ambulance.”

Mrs Holmes said that Sharon was a fairly quiet woman but always passed the time of day when the two met. She added: “She would wave and say hello.”

She said that Paul had been a collector of Second World War and military memorabilia and used to keep it in a makeshift museum at the back of the pub when it was open.

His collection included items such as gas masks and rifles, according to locals.

One villager said the couple had bought the village's only pub 'for a song' but could not make it a success. They then caused concern in the village when they applied for planning permission to turn it into a private dwelling.

This morning's drama was witnessed by Lord Mark Marlesford, who drove back into Suffolk after duties in London overnight.

He saw the crash scene and later visited officers at the cordoned-off house but said no information was given by police.

A spokesperson from Suffolk Police said: “A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a body was found at a property on Main Road, Marlesford.

“Police were called by the ambulance service at 6.45am who reported that a woman had been stabbed. She had been found by a family member who contacted the ambulance service.

Police have cordoned off the area while a forensic search gets underway. A search was also to be conducted at the scene of the crash.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have heard or seen anything between midnight and 7am.

- Anyone with information should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

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