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Jury sworn in for East Harling murder trial

PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 20 February 2018

Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

Alexander Palmer, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture Facebook.

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A jury has been sworn in to try a former soldier accused of murdering a dog walker in Norfolk woodland.

Nottingham Crown Court where the East Harling murder trial is taking place. Photo Peter Walsh. Nottingham Crown Court where the East Harling murder trial is taking place. Photo Peter Walsh.

The body of dog walker Peter Wrighton, a married father and grandfather from Banham, was discovered near East Harling on August 5 last year.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and head.

Alexander Palmer, 24, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, who served with the British Army between 2010 and 2015, was charged with murder but pleaded not guilty in December last year.

He was due to stand trial at Norwich Crown Court in the week beginning February 12.

Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary Police have named Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham, as the victim of the East Harling murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

But following a hearing at the Old Bailey in London, the case was moved to Nottingham Crown Court and is set to get underway today (Tuesday, February 20).

A jury of eight women and four men have been sworn in this morning to try the defendant.

Palmer did not object to any of the 12 jurors who were selected from the panel.

The defendant appears in court in a secure dock which has frosted glass sides meaning he cannot easily be seen from the public gallery where members of Mr Wrighton’s family are seated as well as members of his own family.

There is also a sizable press contingent among those watching proceedings with national as well as local media outlets attending the trial being held in court six.

The trial, which is being presided over by The Honourable Mr Justice Goose, is scheduled to last for two to three weeks.

Mr Wrighton, a former BT worker, was described as a “lovely, gentle husband, dad and grandfather” who loved walking his dogs, Gemma and Dylan.

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