Murder shook business community

THE close-knit business community in Braintree was last night still coming to terms with the murder of one of its leading lights and the conviction of his estranged wife for his murder.

THE close-knit business community in Braintree was last night still coming to terms with the murder of one of its leading lights and the conviction of his estranged wife for his murder.

When Derek Salmon was killed last year, tributes poured in for the manager of the George Yard Shopping Centre, whose work in raising the profile of his market town had seen him dubbed the "Ambassador for Braintree".

The feeling was that his death had left a gaping hole in the community.

Many of his former colleagues, who have forced themselves to move forward after the tragedy, were reluctant to comment on the case, particularly now his wife Rita has been jailed for life for murder.


You may also want to watch:


For them, the last few days had been turbulent, as the court case unfolded and the couple's lives came under the media spotlight.

Braintree district councillor Elwyn Bishop, chairman of the Braintree Area Committee, said: "It is very sad that this has happened. It is always sad when marriages break down but when they break down to this degree it is terrible."

Most Read

Brenda Baker, a close friend of the murdered man and now filling his role at the shopping centre, said: "Derek Salmon was a good boss and a fair man who worked very hard for George Yard and for Braintree. He has been and will continue to be missed by all who knew him."

Det Sgt Stan Stansbury, the officer in charge of the murder inquiry, said: "Today's verdict marks the end of what has been a harrowing experience for those involved. Essex Police extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Derek Salmon, particularly his daughter Tara and son Neil who have lost a much-loved and respected father in the most traumatic circumstances."

Mr Salmon was known as "Mr Braintree", and was regarded by many as an unofficial town centre manager, bringing many events and attractions to Braintree due to his wide network of contacts.

Often mistaken for the professional snooker player and TV celebrity John Virgo, he was credited with being behind every event or initiative staged in the town in the last few years, with the exception of the carnival.

In the past he had organised a street parade, late night shopping events, Christmas light displays and the 4th of July celebrations with Braintree in Massachusetts, America.

Mr Salmon was the first chairman of the town's strategy group, and was partly responsible for producing a leaflet to promote business in Braintree.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus