Bring back hanging call by brother

PUBLISHED: 11:58 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

GRIEF-stricken relatives of murder victim, Joan Albert, have unleashed an outpouring of shock and anger following the brutal death of one of their well-loved family.

GRIEF-stricken relatives of murder victim, Joan Albert, have unleashed an outpouring of shock and anger following the brutal death of one of their well-loved family.

Her bereaved brother, Ken Tuckwell, has called for his sister's murderer to be hanged for committing the "terrible crime" as he paid tribute to his "elegant" sister.

Mr Tuckwell, of Ipswich Road, Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge, revealed how she had recently been "unnerved" by teenage tearaways in her home village.

He said she had been so troubled by the youngsters that a relative had put a camera in place at her home in Boydlands, Capel St Mary, for security purposes.

"Joan was very particular and always looked very elegant in her dress. Her home was always kept in an immaculate condition," he said.

"She was very devoted to her dog Rusty, who was very ill, and she used to let him out during the night.

"To die is normal, but to be murdered in her own home is something else.

"I hope the police catch the person who committed this terrible crime and they should be hanged."

Born in Raydon, near Hadleigh, Mrs Albert was the second eldest of seven children to Elias and Agnes Tuckwell – with the family becoming well known in Suffolk when her father began farming at Pettaugh, near Ipswich.

Mr Tuckwell, who spoke to her every day by phone, remembered how problems with nuisance youths led to her fitting a camera to the front of her house.

A former agricultural engineer, Mr Tuckwell also ran his own agricultural field drainage company at Grundisburgh, as well as the village garage before retiring.

All three girls and four boys in the family attended the now defunct Raydon school, near Hadleigh, before Mrs Albert went on to work as a hairdresser, along with her two sisters Madge and Kathleen.

Mr Tuckwell said: "Joan served an apprenticeship in Ipswich and worked in Hadleigh until being sent to Chelmsford during the [Second World] war to work in Hoffmans' ball- bearing factory.

"When our family moved to Pettaugh in 1945, Joan worked with her sisters in a shop in Debenham, which they hired out. Later she had a new shop built in Gracechurch Street, Debenham."

Mrs Albert, whose father ran a barbers in the same street, lived with her parents until marrying late in life to Cyril, a widower from Sevenoaks, in Kent.

The couple met on a cruise and after they wed they lived in the Kent town before deciding to move to Capel St Mary so that they could be between the two shops where they each worked. Her husband, who was also a hairdresser, died in the early 1990s.

Among the rest of her family, her brother, Len, from Bedingfield, near Eye, started an agricultural contracting business, L.E. Tuckwell, in Worlingworth, in the 1950s. The business is still operating successfully, and is now run by his son, Paul.

Mrs Albert's sister Kathleen, worked as a hairdresser and now lives in Newton, near Sudbury, while her other sister, Madge, died in the mid-1990s.

Mrs Albert's nephew, Trevor Cousins, who lives with his mother, Kathleen, pleaded for anyone with information about the murder to come forward.

He said: "I think it is despicable to do this to a frail old lady."

Mr Cousins and his 80-year-old mother had seen Mrs Albert on Saturday morning to deliver Christmas presents to her Capel St Mary home.

Mrs Cousins said: "I just can't take it all in at the moment. When they phoned me to tell me, I thought she had had a heart attack. I couldn't believe she had been murdered.

"Everyone is just in shock at the moment. I don't think we have come to terms with it yet. If anyone knows who did this or has any information, please contact the police."

Today Mrs Albert's niece, who spoke to her aunt just hours before she was stabbed to death, is still struggling to come to terms with the news.

Lavinia Broome, from Debenham, was one of the last people to talk to the pensioner before she was viciously attacked in her own home.

"Everybody is just so shocked. It's just like something off the television. It doesn't feel real at all," she said.

She described how her doting aunt, kept in close touch with her large family. She would speak to her on the phone every day, exchanging news about their day, and had spoken to her in their usual way at about 7pm on Saturday evening, the night before her body was found.

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