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Shadow of murder still hangs over Capel

PUBLISHED: 16:13 24 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

SHOCK, sadness and fear are still apparent in the residents of Capel following the brutal murder of pensioner, Joan Albert.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in the small village gathered last night for a meeting with community policeman, Pc Steve Bright, to be reassured about the dreadful event that rocked their lives.

SHOCK, sadness and fear are still apparent in the residents of Capel following the brutal murder of pensioner, Joan Albert.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in the small village gathered last night for a meeting with community policeman, Pc Steve Bright, to be reassured about the dreadful event that rocked their lives.

But despite any comfort residents may have taken from security advice, they were told that the investigation into the murder looked set to be a long process and could take more than nine months to complete.

Frail Joan Albert, 79, from Boydlands died sometime between Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December16 after the killer broke into her home and stabbed her several times.

News that the murder inquiry could take a long time came as a surprise to some residents.

Gerald White said: "Saying it is going to be a long investigation is not very reassuring for the people.

"You think, is this person still among us? We were hoping that it would be nearly over now."

Some people who lived close to Mrs Albert are still extremely distressed at her death, particularly as her neighbours always tried to keep an eye on her after hearing of her problems with youngsters in the village.

One resident said: "Her neighbours are so upset because they looked out for her so much.

"She used to call them as soon as she heard or saw anything."

But Pc Bright is determined that residents should not live in fear and encouraged co-ordinators to arrange meetings in their areas that they could attend to address the way people were feeling.

The meeting followed a previous get together of residents from the Boydlands area last week.

Pc Bright had an overwhelming response from people who wanted to talk about their concerns.

He said: "It was a good meeting but tough, we had a few tears.

"I think people want information. They want to know what is going on and I was able to explain as best I can what we are doing."

Last night Pc Bright did exactly that for the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators, telling them exactly how a police investigation works.

He told residents that every piece of information and evidence is investigated thoroughly.

"We know a lot more about the people in the village than they know themselves.

"There was a huge party in the village that night and there were lots of other things going on.

"That night was particularly strange because there were so many people about," he said.

Pc Bright also tried to quash any rumours in the village about who might have committed the murder.

Security issues were also discussed and various personal alarms and door chains were on display along with details of the Handyman Scheme, which gives anyone over 60 years old the opportunity to have security devices fitted free of charge.

After the meeting some residents said that they felt more reassured now that they had information about what was going on and there was also a positive attitude among people to carry on with their lives.

Chairman Laddie Doggett said: "It is good that we have had a run down of what is going on. We know we can't expect a daily report of what they are doing and that there are things they can't tell us for security reasons.

"But they can give us an idea, as they did tonight."

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