Man charged with peace activist's murder

POLICE last nightcharged a 35-year-old labourer with the murder of an anti-Sizewell B campaigner almost 20 years ago.Elderly peace campaigner Hilda Murrell, 79, was stabbed and left for dead in Shropshire in 1984.

By Jonathan Barnes

POLICE last nightcharged a 35-year-old labourer with the murder of an anti-Sizewell B campaigner almost 20 years ago.

Elderly peace campaigner Hilda Murrell, 79, was stabbed and left for dead in Shropshire in 1984.

West Mercia police last night said Andrew Harold George, of Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury, had been charged with her murder. He will appear before magistrates in Telford today to answer the charge.


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Miss Murrell was found dead on March 24, 1984 – when George was aged just 16 – in a coppice at Hunkington, six miles from her home in Shrewsbury. She had died of hypothermia after being attacked.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said George was arrested last Friday by officers probing Miss Murrell's murder.

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Detectives commenced a "cold case" review of the death in April last year, more than 18 years after the spinster's partially-clothed body was found. Police investigating at the time found Miss Murrell's house had been broken into.

Miss Murrell had been due to present evidence at the Government inquiry about the development of Sizewell B.

A man from Bedfordshire, who was a friend of the Murrell family, has claimed to have a copy of the report.

It disputed Government information about contamination levels and the length of time the site would remain a no-go area after the closure of the plant.

Shortly before her death, Miss Murrell said: "The truth is that the area will remain contaminated for thousands of years."

In the report, which was never presented at the long-running inquiry held at Snape Maltings, scientific experts are quoted as raising major concerns about some of the materials intended to be used at the station.

Of particular concern was the use of the metallic element zirconium to coat the inside of the plant.

The metal is exceptionally corrosion-resistant, but is known to explode on contact with steam – and Sizewell B is a pressurised water reactor.

Miss Murrell was the aunt of Commander Robert Green, who passed the order for the sinking of the Belgrano in May 1982.

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