Braintree: Knowledge of child abuse images may have led to man’s murder

THE exact circumstances surrounding the deaths of two neighbours will never be known, say police.

Richard Wight, 55, and Alan Taylor, 59, were discovered dead at their homes in Eagle Lane, Braintree on January 15. Mr Wight died from stab wounds while tests on Mr Taylor concluded he died from a heart attack.

An inquest held yesterday concluded lorry driver Mr Wight was unlawfully killed. Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray and Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hall also discussed possible motives for the attack.

During the hearing in Chelmsford, it emerged Mr Wight may have been on the verge of reporting Mr Taylor for possessing images of child abuse on his computer prompting him to carry out the violent assault on his neighbour. Mr Taylor then returned home and died of natural causes.

The pair had also been in a long-running dispute over parking spaces and blocked drains.

The two men are thought to have died on 5 January though their bodies were not found until 15 January.

DCI Mark Hall of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “The Inquest has concluded that Mr Richard Wight was unlawfully killed.

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“This was a difficult investigation given that both the victim, Richard Wight, and the offender, Alan Taylor, were dead. We will perhaps never know what brought things to a head on that day in January. Whatever the history and ongoing disputes in Eagle Lane, this was a brutal and wholly unjustified attack, which led to the tragic loss of Richard Wight’s life.

“Both Mr Wight and Mr Taylor’s families have conducted themselves with great dignity and integrity during this traumatic period. My thoughts are with them.”

In a statement, the family of Alan Taylor said: “The months since the tragedy in Eagle Lane have been a very difficult time for all the family. News of Alan’s death was a massive shock. As we learnt further details from the police and HM Coroner, we all struggled to come to terms with what we were being told.

“It is with great sadness that we have to face the fact that the much loved brother and family member, with whom we shared many happy memories, seems a different person from the man who died in January 2012.

“On behalf of Alan’s family, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Richard Wight for the loss of their relative. We appreciate that this is a difficult time for them too, particularly given the manner of Richard Wight’s death.

“We know how challenging it is proving to try to come to terms with this situation, which has completely devastated us all. Unfortunately, and tragically, both families have been victims of circumstances beyond their control.”

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