Officers receive tip off into unsolved murder of 82-year-old Doris Shelley at her home in Martlesham

ES 27 04 02


Officers have received a tip off into the unsolved brutal murder of an 82-year-old woman in her home.

It has come following an appeal on the 25th anniversary of Doris Shelley’s death last month with “a number of calls” being made to Suffolk police with one interesting line of enquiry being identified.

She was found covered in blood, cowering in a corner of her kitchen following a raid on her Martlesham home and lost consciousness after being discovered. She would never come round – and died in a hospital bed 11 days later.

Her killer evaded justice and her death still frustrates Suffolk’s unsolved crime team.

Mrs Shelley, widowed in her 20s, lived with her cats at a bungalow in Main Road where neighbour Harold Scopes broke in through a widow on February 11, 1993, after becoming concerned when a woman who delivered shopping got no reply.

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He found his neighbour leaning against her stove and covered in blood from an attack with a blunt object.

Andy Guy, the major crime review and cold case manager, said today: “Following the renewed media appeal issued on the 25th anniversary of the murder of Doris Shelley we received a small number of calls from members of the public.

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“One interesting line of enquiry has been identified and the forensic review continues.

“Re-appeals such as this can often be a successful way of prompting people who may have been confided in, either at the time or since, to clear their conscience by coming forward and telling us what they know.

“Anyone who believes they may have information which could assist with the investigation into this murder should contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Crime Review Team on 01953 423819 or email<

Mrs Shelley had become reclusive after the death of her husband. She had few relatives, and became further shut off following a robbery on her home 18 months earlier.

That May, the murder featured on BBC’s Crimewatch, prompting 50 calls and two photofits of men seen loitering around the home in the days leading up to the attack.

One was aged 25-30, stocky, 6ft, with collar length wavy brown hair growing into dreadlocks. He was seen on February 8, 9 and 10.

The second was about 40, 5ft 10in, slim, with dark brown hair and a fair complexion, carrying a Halfords bag and seen near the A12 roundabout underpass.

Police also looked for the driver of a red Ford Sierra-type car seen on Mrs Shelley’s driveway on the last day she was seen alive.

At one stage, her death was linked to a similar attack on the Eyke postmistress on September 10, 1992.

The Post Office had already been targeted by robbers four months earlier, on May 19.

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