Murder trial into death of strangled pensioner is adjourned

Donald Ralph was found dead at his home on Monday 

Donald Ralph was beaten and strangled to death in his home - Credit: Essex Police

The trial of a 28-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy accused of murdering an Essex pensioner who was beaten and strangled to death in his home during a burglary has been adjourned until July 2. 

Before Ipswich Crown Court  are Leighton Snook, 28, and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named due to his age. 

They have have denied murdering Donald Ralph at his home in Halstead Road, Aldham, near Colchester in December last year. 

Snook, of no fixed address, also denies burglary and theft of a car, while the 16-year-old also denies theft of a car but admits burglary. 

The court has heard that Mr Ralph’s body was found by his niece, Tina Ralph, on December 29. 

A post-mortem examination revealed five areas of blunt force trauma to his face and head and concluded that he died from strangulation.  

Two guns which Mr Ralph had certificates for - a self-loading Ruger Rifle 22 RF and a Browning 12 bore over and under shotgun - were stolen from the property.

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Mr Ralph's blue Volvo was also taken from his driveway. 

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