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Neighbour's horror at killing in garden

PUBLISHED: 18:33 22 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

HAUNTED Capel resident Mark Tatton said today that he was horror struck

when police told him Joan Albert's killer probably crossed his garden on route to the pensioner's house.

HAUNTED Capel resident Mark Tatton said today that he was horror struck

when police told him Joan Albert's killer probably crossed his garden on route to the pensioner's house.

And his trauma is further increased every day as he is reminded of the murder every time he opens the curtains of his bedroom.

Mrs Albert's smashed and boarded up kitchen window - believed to be the killer's forced entry point - is clearly visible from his bedroom.

The 62-year-old retired engineer and his wife Iris, 61, were sleeping soundly when the killer is believed to have scrambled over a 6ft high fence and into their back garden.

"We were in but we went to bed about 11ish.

"The next thing I knew the following morning the place was swarming with police," said Mr Tatton, of Vine Walk, recalling the events of December 16 when Mrs Albert's body was discovered in the hall of her Boydlands home peppered with stab wounds.

"What a terrible shock … it really was awful. Joan was a neighbour. Our gardens are back to back. If I was out cutting the grass she would stop and have a chat. She used to come past every day with her little trolley and her dog on her way to go shopping."

Mr Tatton said that police spent nearly four hours over three days conducting a finger tip search of his garden and told him they believed it was central to the murder investigation.

The killer would have crossed the garden - just meters from the couple's bedroom window - and over another fence before gaining entry to Mrs Albert's through her kitchen window.

Mr Tatton said he was first alerted to the drama when officer's called at his house on the morning of December 16 asking to see his garden but that the full horror of what had taken place was not made clear until later that day.

"The police said we ought to know what was going on because there was going to be a tremendous amount of police activity and we ought to how what had happened," he said.

"Every time I open the bedroom curtains in the morning I am reminded of it."

A spokesman for Suffolk police said that he could not confirm for definite the route the killer took but that it was known that entry to Mrs Albert's house was gained from the back.

"We don't know in what direction the offender left," he added.

Meanwhile, details of Mrs Albert's funeral have been released today.

The service is due to take place in the West Chapel of Ipswich Crematorium, on Friday, at 11am.

N Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact the incident room on 01473 613777 or call Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.

N The business community in Capel and The Evening Star is offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her murder.

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