Man accused of murdering Norfolk grandfather Peter Wrighton ‘hated dog walkers’ and spoke of ‘wish’ to harm them, court told

Alexander Palmer, 24, has been found guilty of murdering Peter Wrighton. Picture: FACEBOOK

Alexander Palmer, 24, has been found guilty of murdering Peter Wrighton. Picture: FACEBOOK - Credit: Facebook

A former soldier accused of murdering an 83-year-old in East Harling had a hatred of dog walkers and spoke about his “wish” to harm them, a court heard.

Police conduct checks near the scene in East Harling.
Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Police conduct checks near the scene in East Harling. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

The claims were made in extracts from Alexander Palmer’s medical notes as they were read to the jury at Nottingham Crown Court this afternoon.

Palmer, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, is on trial accused of murdering Mr Wrighton as the 83-year-old walked his dogs in East Harling on August 5.

Prosecutor Stephen Spence read extracts from Palmer’s medical notes, which dated back to May 2014.

He said a note from a psychiatrist, dated January 20, 2015, stated Palmer had been “hearing a voice on the ward”.

Norfolk grandfather Peter Wrighton. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Norfolk grandfather Peter Wrighton. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant


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“He described it as his own voice but deeper,” Mr Spence said, referring to the medical notes.

“The voice instructs him to harm others.”

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An extract from January 29, 2015 said the hallucination was “a younger Alex”, which “had always been with him”.

Mr Spence said a note dated January 15, from a psychiatrist, said: “He said he is thinking of going for dog walkers.

Police at the scene in East Harling last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police at the scene in East Harling last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

“He said he hates dog walkers.

“He said that this was because they were constantly muttering things about him under his breath, e.g. ‘weak and ugly’. He said he would tie them to a fence and cut them open. He said he would only do this to dog walkers or people going into their houses with their dogs.

“He said he did have a definite plan, but it was not fool proof.”

Reading an extract from February 9, 2016, Mr Spence said Palmer had again spoken about his “wish” to harm dog walkers.

Police carrying out forensic investigation work. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police carrying out forensic investigation work. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

He said Palmer was referred by a GP to a specialist in January 2017 following concerns around a “relapse” of psychosis.

The medical note said: “Past three months, increasing auditory hallucinations, mainly commentary, however command hallucinations to harm others becoming more frequent.”

The note added Palmer had recently bought a hunting knife and machete.

Palmer, who appeared in court in a dark suit, denies murder.

Police at the scene in East Harling last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police at the scene in East Harling last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Mr Spence also read out extracts from undated notes written by Palmer.

In the note, Palmer said lying was “second nature to him”.

Reading the notes, Mr Spence said: “I see every little point in the monotony of as normal life. I look around at the other sheep and think to myself ‘why am I set apart from these’.

“They sit there drinking their tea and coffee early on the Monday morning, and reminisce over the weekend antics.

Anniversary checks were carried out near the scene.
Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Anniversary checks were carried out near the scene. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

“They laugh, joke and swear over the hilarity of their own lives and I cannot help but venture back, in my mind, to the one perfect moment that has defined my entire existence.

“In fact, with this one simple act I have opened the eyes of every single remaining member of that family and hopefully reached, at least, the ears of most of the UK.

“MURDER! Murder they called it, as they wrote up my ascendance to greatness.

“My gift to you. They weren’t even there to witness my art in all its glory, only its aftermath. I wonder what people will say for years to come. How did he? Why did he?

“It brings me solace to know that all my hard work shall finally go noticed by the educated class.

“It shall be studied, revised and hopefully re-enacted in the many centuries to come.

“But none shall leave an imprint as great as mine.”

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