Pensioner's murder appeal delayed

A SUFFOLK pensioner's appeal against his conviction for the murder of his wife is now likely to take place in the summer.

Colin Adwent

A SUFFOLK pensioner's appeal against his conviction for the murder of his wife is now likely to take place in the summer.

John Walker, 71, was jailed for life after shooting Glenda Walker at point-blank range during breakfast at their home in Lodge Road, Great Bealings on November 12, 2002.

Walker admitted killing the 63-year-old, although he always denied murdering her during his trial in March 2004.

A specific date has not been allocated for his hearing at the Court of Appeal in London as the availability of one of the witnesses, a doctor, is unclear.

However, Walker's appeal, which is likely to revolve around new evidence over his mental state at the time of the killing, will now not be heard until late July.

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A close family member of Walker's family, who did not wish to be named, said: "The case has been delayed because of a hearing that planned at the General Medical Council in regard to one of the key witnesses for the appeal and we can't go forward until that hearing has been completed."

The family member said they were optimistic of a positive outcome to Walker's appeal.

"Obviously you don't appeal unless you are hoping to win. We have worked hard for five years to prepare the appeal so clearly we hope to win.”

Walker, a former technical manager at BASF in Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh, before his retirement in 1995, was sentenced to a mandatory period of 14 years in jail before he could apply for parole.

He is currently in Category C Highpoint prison in Stradishall, Suffolk.

The family member said: "I think he's doing well. He has great support from the people who love him and his friends and he is doing very well.

"He's made a real contribution to the place. He's involved in teaching and actively involved in the church. He has really made the best of what his situation is now.

“His health is not wonderful, but he is having those problems addressed."

Walker, who had been married go his former wife for 40 years, has always contended his was a case of manslaughter not murder.

The Walkers were due to divorce at the time and Mrs Walker was alleged to have threatened to take her husband for all he had.

She was also said to have told him she would “drag his name though the community” after their relationship fell apart when Walker met another woman.

On November 12, 2002, Walker, who claimed to have been clinically depressed, walked out of the dining room of their home to a gun cabinet.

He removed a 12-bore shotgun, loaded a cartridge and returned to the dining room where he shot his wife while she was eating.

colin.adwent@eadt.co.uk