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Neighbours express shock after murder probe launched in Chelmsford

Published 17/04/2016

Police have appealed for information
Police have appealed for information

Neighbours have spoken of their shock after a murder investigation was launched when the body of a woman and a critically injured man were found at a house in Essex.

The victims, both in their fifties, were discovered by police responding to reports of an assault at a property in Chelmsford in the early hours of Sunday.

Pauline Maris, who lives opposite the retirement bungalow where the incident took place, said she heard the police arrive on Pines Road at around 1.30am.

"In the early hours of the morning I heard a woman shouting 'leave him alone', then I heard other shouting. But I couldn't see anything," she said.

"All the police arrived at about 1.30am - I have never seen so many. There were two ambulances and police dogs too.

"The police were looking around the bungalows with their torches, they were mostly around the back of the property, and then at the front."

The injured man was taken to hospital where he is undergoing treatment for "serious life-threatening injuries".

A local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Marion Smith who lives in a bungalow a few doors away from the scene said the couple have lived at the property for three or four years.

"They were very friendly and had been married for 25 years," she said.

"I am hoping he is all right, he is very ill in hospital - it is such a shame about her."

One neighbour who did not want to be named said he would often hear the couple arguing - "shouting and screaming at each other".

He added: " This morning I saw three white-coated people out in the back looking at the bedroom window.

"There has never been any trouble around here."

A large police cordon remains at the property - with a white forensics tent positioned outside the home.

Another neighbour who wished to remain anonymous added: "This place is so quiet, it is really unusual, you don't hear of anything like this.

"I just can't believe it, I am in shock - it is so close to home."

Hamed Ahmadi, who lives in the street over from Pines Road, said he saw police blocking off Melbourne Avenue, which is close to the scene.

He added: "I saw a few police cars flying down towards Chignall Road too - I could see the blue lights for at least 45 minutes to an hour.

"I knew it was something big."

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Officers were contacted at 1.30am this morning with reports of a man being assaulted inside a house in Pines Road.

"Units attended to find a woman aged in her fifties deceased and a man, also in his fifties, with serious life-threatening injuries.

"A 31-year-old man from Chelmsford has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in police custody.

"The injured man is currently at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford."

The murder probe is being led by Detective Inspector Ellis, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

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