Family's appeal to catch murderer

By James HoreTHE devastated family of a woman who was battered to death in her home have made an emotional appeal to the public to help them find her killer.

By James Hore

THE devastated family of a woman who was battered to death in her home have made an emotional appeal to the public to help them find her killer.

Police have launched a murder investigation after the body of Jean Dicker, 58, was discovered by her son at her home in Craigfield Avenue in Clacton.

At a press conference held at the town's police station yesterday, Mrs Dicker's brother John Albrecht and sister-in-law May Albrecht, recalled how happy the 58-year-old had been just hours before she was found dead at about 11.30pm on Wednesday.

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Mrs Dicker was discovered lying in her blood-covered hallway by her son Steve, who had been living at the house. She had suffered serious head injuries.

Mr and Mrs Albrecht, from Billericay, said they could not understand why someone would want to commit such a crime against the former traffic warden, whom they described as a kind person.

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Mrs Albrecht said: “Jean and her husband Len were a devoted couple, married for over 40 years. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother - she was rebuilding her life after her husband passed away.

“The family cannot understand why someone would carry out such a terrible act. I spoke to Jean that evening on the phone and she seemed happy.”

She added Mrs Dicker had been looking forward to taking her two dogs to Pets as Therapy, a scheme designed to bring comfort to pensioners and hospital patients.

“On behalf of the family, if anyone has any information, no matter how insignificant, please telephone the police,” said Mrs Albrecht.

Her husband also described how his sister had been rebuilding her life in Clacton after her husband died last year and added her two children had been hit hard by her murder.

“She would help anybody, discuss anything with anybody and I have no idea why anybody has done this,” said Mr Albrecht.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Wilson, of Essex Police's major investigation team, said information from the public was vital for detectives to catch the person responsible for murdering Mrs Dicker.

He added: “A forensic examination of the house is still taking place, but it is evident that the murder weapon is missing.”

Search teams were out yesterday in the area surrounding Craigfield Avenue looking for the murder weapon, which Mr Wilson described as a blunt instrument.

He asked anyone who had found or noticed a potential weapon or saw a person with blood on him or her after 6pm on the day of the murder to contact police.

Mr Wilson also asked for anyone who knew Mrs Dicker to contact him to assist detectives in building up a picture of her daily habits, both at home and while she was socialising.

Anyone with information on the murder of Mrs Dicker should telephone Essex Police's major investigation team on 01206 762122.

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