Former soldier pleads not guilty to murder of dog walker Peter Wrighton in East Harling

Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A 24-year-old man has denied murdering a grandfather who was walking his two dogs in woodland near Thetford.

Former soldier, Alexander Palmer pleaded not guilty at Norwich Crown Court to the murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton, of Banham, Norfolk.

The body of retired BT worker Mr Wrighton, a married father and grandfather, was discovered in woodland near the village of East Harling on August 5.

A post mortem examination revealed he died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and head.

Palmer, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, spoke only to confirm his details and to enter his plea during the 10-minute hearing.

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The defendant, who appeared by videolink from Belmarsh prison in south-east London, wore a grey T-shirt and remained seated throughout the hearing.

He served with the British Army between 2010 and 2015.

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His trial has been set for February 12, 2018, at Norwich Crown Court and is estimated to last two to three weeks.

Mr Wrighton, a former BT worker, was described as a “lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather” who loved walking his dogs. Gemma and Dylan.

A statement released by police on behalf of Mr Wrighton’s family following his death, paid tribute to his kind nature.

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