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Man charged with murder 40 years after Ipswich student’s death

PUBLISHED: 09:19 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 19 March 2020

Aberdeen Sheriff Court  Picture: GOOGLE

Aberdeen Sheriff Court Picture: GOOGLE

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An 79-year-old man has been charged with murder following the death of a doctor and former Ipswich student more than 40 years ago.

A cutting from the Ipswich Star on Friday, January 23, 1998, 20 years after the murder of Dr Brenda PageA cutting from the Ipswich Star on Friday, January 23, 1998, 20 years after the murder of Dr Brenda Page

Dr Brenda Page was found dead in an Aberdeen flat, where she had lived alone, on July 14, 1978.

The former Northgate School pupil had conducted significant research to prevent deformed babies, working in the genetics department at the University of Aberdeen Medical School from 1973 until her death at 32.

The murder weapon was never found, but it was thought to be something like a poker, spanner or chisel.

The case was brought back for reinvestigation six years ago, and on Tuesday, police said a 79-year-old man had been arrested and charged.

Christopher Harrisson appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Wednesday, when he was charged with murder. He entered no plea and was released on bail.

Detective Inspector Gary Winter, of Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “A number of people have contacted police to provide information following our appeal.

“I would like to thank them for their assistance, along with all those who have helped with the investigation so far.

“I continue to urge anyone who believes they may have information relevant to the inquiry, and has not yet spoken to the police, to get in touch.

“I also ask any previous witnesses from 1978, or from the subsequent review from 2014 onwards, who have changed their contact address or telephone numbers to get in touch and update us.”

In 1964, Brenda was Northgate’s most successful GCE A-level entrant, with passes in botany, zoology, physics and chemistry, and distinctions in special papers in both botany and zoology.

She later secured a first class honours degree in zoology from University College in London.

Shortly afterwards, she moved to Glasgow University to work in the genetics institute.

Brenda was awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy in 1972 for a thesis on the male human meiosis, infertility and abnormalities of birth.

Her mother, Florence Page, told the Ipswich Star in 1978 there had been exciting developments in her work. She had just started on a project with a team of six scientists and had travelled to international conferences.

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