Tributes paid to Leiston murder victim John Proctor, 80, described as a “fabulous character”

Woman held in Grimsey Road murder probe

Woman held in Grimsey Road murder probe

Tributes were yesterday paid to an 80-year-old groundsman as detectives began questioning a woman in connection with his murder.

Work colleagues of John Proctor said he was a “fabulous character” and “brought a smile to our faces every day”.

His body was found at his home in Grimsey Road, Leiston, where yesterday afternoon a dozen police officers were carrying out house-to-house inquiries.

A 41-year-old year old woman from Leiston has been arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

Police have also said she was arrested at Ipswich Hospital.

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Mr Proctor had worked for the family-run Cakes and Ale Holiday Park in Abbey Lane, Theberton, for more than 30 years as a general groundsman and maintenance man.

In recent years, after passing retirement, he had cut down to three days a week, still keeping the gardens and colourful floral tubs in pristine condition.

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Holiday park owner Fergus Little said Mr Proctor had last been at the park working last Wednesday.

He said: “Everyone is very shocked by what has happened and is still trying to understand it.

“We heard that Johnny had died and we thought he had most probably passed away peacefully in his sleep, but when we realised that his life had been cut short, that has been very difficult for everyone to come to terms with.”

Mr Proctor is understood to have been evacuated to Suffolk from London as a war orphan in the Second World War to be fostered by a local family.

A bachelor, he had lived at his home in Grimsey Road as long as anyone could remember.

Mr Little said he was a “fabulous Suffolk character” who was loved by all the park staff and would be greatly missed, and “brought a smile to our faces every day”.

He added: “He was a very active man – if I am that active at 80 I will be a very happy man.”

Police were contacted at around 9.15am on Monday to reports that the body of a man had been found at a house in Grimsey Road.

A Home Office post-mortem examination took place at Ipswich Hospital on Tuesday afternoon and concluded that the cause of death was compression of the neck.

A police scene remains in place at the man’s house – with the terraced property and a side alley cordoned off – and other inquiries have been taking place in the area.

Tim Cracknell, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Police continue to appeal for anyone who may have information in relation to this crime to contact the Major Investigation Team on 101 quoting reference LE/15/614.”

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