Search

Mental health staff warned police about killer Alexander Palmer

PUBLISHED: 08:29 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 01 March 2018

Alexander Palmer. Picture: Facebook.

Alexander Palmer. Picture: Facebook.

Facebook

Mental health staff treating an ex-Royal Marine who killed a dog walker warned police about him.

Peter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary Peter Wrighton. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Wrighton, 83, from Banham, was stabbed repeatedly to the back of his head and neck and through his left eye in an attack which left his head almost severed from his body.

A jury took less than an hour on Wednesday to find former soldier Alex Palmer, 24, guilty of murdering Mr Wrighton as he walked his dogs in woodland near East Harling on August 5 last year.

Palmer, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today.

Speaking after the verdict yesterday, Mr Wrighton’s family said they were “shocked, astounded and angered” at revelations relating to Palmer’s mental health.

Police conduct checks near the scene of the murder of Peter Wrighton.
 Picture: Nick Butcher Police conduct checks near the scene of the murder of Peter Wrighton. Picture: Nick Butcher

The court had heard how Palmer suffered mental health problems following a head injury from being attacked on a night out in Plymouth in 2013.

He told mental health professionals about voices in his head which told him to hurt people, particularly dog walkers.

Staff at mental health service, the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), then flagged their concerns to police.

A spokesman for the NSFT said: “Staff are encouraged to highlight circumstances where they are genuinely concerned an individual poses a real threat to themselves or to the safety of others.

Killer Alexander Palmer. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary Killer Alexander Palmer. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

“The Trust can confirm that staff did, on more than one occasion, liaise closely with other organisations including the police to raise concerns.

“Staff acted appropriately at all times with full and proper consideration to the safety of Mr Palmer as well as to the safety of others.”

“It should be remembered that this has been an extreme and rare situation.”

A serious case review is being held to see if lessons can be learned.

East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY East Harling murder. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

In a statement read outside court, Mr Wrighton’s daughter Carol Todd and son Andrew Wrighton said: “We have all been struggling to come to terms with losing him in such a way and our mum, his wife of 59 years, has been left bereft and lonely.

“However, the revelations of the evidence relating to the mental health of Alexander Palmer have shocked, astounded and angered us.

“We feel this should not have happened and mental health professionals failed him, his family and our family.

“My mum, brother, myself and our children not only feel grief but anger, as we believe this crime could have been prevented.”

Related articles

Other news

09:54

A charity is pleading with the government to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit across Norfolk.

Yesterday, 16:57

Youth club members in Swaffham have held a tea party and debate to celebrate 90 years of British men and women having equal rights to vote.

Yesterday, 15:42

A dog walker has spoken about finding a “tiny”, newly-born common seal pup on a Norfolk beach.

Yesterday, 13:18

A charity which has been running for nearly 70 years to help Dereham hospital is holding it’s bi-annual fete this week.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:42

A dog walker has spoken about finding a “tiny”, newly-born common seal pup on a Norfolk beach.

Read more
National Trust
Yesterday, 12:53

The NHS says it urgently needs blood donors in the Fakenham area.

Read more
NHS
Thursday, February 1, 2018

News that Lionel Richie will be performing in Norfolk has left hundreds of residents eager to get their hands on tickets but others have been left feeling apprehensive due to memories of last summer’s chaotic Tom Jones concert.

Read more
Saturday, June 16, 2018

An extraordinary stand-off took place at a Norfolk tip as customers were locked in when a man refused to pay to dump his wood.

Read more
Norfolk Police
09:54

A charity is pleading with the government to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit across Norfolk.

Read more
Cromer

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy