Ipswich: Man held on suspicion of murdering Sussex pensioner named

IPSWICH man John Merry was still being questioned by police today on suspicion of murdering a 78-year-old woman in Sussex.

Merry, 46, of St Helen’s Street, was arrested on Sunday night by detectives investigating the death of Brenda James.

Mrs James was found by specialist police search teams in woodland on the sprawling Goodwood Estate near Chichester, West Sussex, last Thursday.

Her son Neale James has already been charged with her murder.

Yesterday detectives successfully applied for an extension to Mr Merry’s custody time limit when they went before magistrates in Sussex.

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Officers can now detain Mr Merry until late tonight.

His flat in Ipswich was searched by police on Monday afternoon.

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Sussex Police said a post-mortem examination revealed Mrs James died from a "head injury caused by a weapon".

Yesterday, Neale James, 50, of Vinetrow Road, Chichester, appeared for a brief preliminary hearing at Lewes Crown Court.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the same court for a plea and case management hearing on June 3.

Mrs James, who lived at Lakeside Caravan Park in Chichester, was described as extremely popular with a wide circle of friends whom she met regularly to play bridge and enjoy other hobbies.

In a statement released through police last week, her daughter, Nicole James, said her family had been left "devastated" by her death.

She added: "Her untimely death has been a shock to us all and we are at a loss for words to describe how we feel. We miss her."

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