Two quizzed over pensioner's murder

By Ted JeoryTWO men were being questioned last night over the murder 11 years ago of a pensioner who was found with a page of the Bible stuffed into his mouth.

By Ted Jeory

TWO men were being questioned last night over the murder 11 years ago of a pensioner who was found with a page of the Bible stuffed into his mouth.

The men, who are from Chelmsford and are aged 26 and 52, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of the murder of Ron Cousins, a devout Christian.

A woman, aged 57 and also from Chelmsford, was also being questioned last night after being arrested for perverting the course of justice.

The arrests come after Essex Police launched a major review of a series of “cold cases” dating back 30 years.

Mr Cousins, 78, was found stabbed and strangled at his terraced home in Anchor Street, Chelmsford, on April 16, 1994.

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Concerned neighbours worried about an overflowing bath and drawn curtains found the frail pensioner lying face upwards on the floor and his house ransacked.

His body had been splattered with white emulsion paint, while a page from the Bible had been ripped out and stuffed into his mouth. More white paint had been splashed on the walls and bath taps had been left running.

A knife was found by his body, but tests revealed it was not the murder weapon. About £700 in cash was also discovered in the house untouched.

At the time of the grim discovery, a detective described Mr Cousins, a former soldier, as looking like a mannequin.

An inquest in 1996, which recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, heard the murderer had probably remained at the scene for several hours.

Mr Cousins was known locally as a friendly Good Samaritan, was a supporter of the Salvation Army - where he was dubbed “big Ron” - and had attended the United Reformed Church for 57 years.

A former milkman, he had never married, but was proud to be the oldest resident in his street, in which he had lived for more than 30 years.

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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