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‘We don’t know what else he would have been capable of’ - sergeant praises community for key role in quickly bringing Dereham murderer Richard Beane to justice

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:09 16 May 2017

Richard Beane of Brunswick Close, Dereham has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years for murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

Richard Beane of Brunswick Close, Dereham has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years for murder. Picture Norfolk Constabulary

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A community has been praised for its “huge” role in swiftly getting murderer Richard Beane off the streets as more details of the killer’s cold-blooded and distant nature have emerged.

The scene of the murder at Boyd Avenue, Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt The scene of the murder at Boyd Avenue, Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

Beane, 49, of Brunswick Close, Dereham, was jailed at Norwich Crown Court on Friday for a minimum 28 years for murdering pensioner Brian Heed in his own home at Boyd Avenue, Toftwood.

Beane caused 100 separate injuries, mainly stab and slash wounds, in a savage attack.

He then carried on his day as if nothing had happened, going for a haircut in Watton before drinking in Toftwood Social Club, where he spoke of looking forward to a lazy Sunday.

He told people at the club he injured his hand at work.

A police cordon at Church Road, Hardingham where a bag of bloodstained items was dumped. This provided crucial evidence in the case. Picture: Ian Burt A police cordon at Church Road, Hardingham where a bag of bloodstained items was dumped. This provided crucial evidence in the case. Picture: Ian Burt

A key piece of evidence in the case was a carrier bag of bloodstained items, including Mr Heed’s bus pass and house keys, found dumped in a field in Hardingham, near Dereham.

Sergeant Steve Graves, from Dereham Police Station, said Beane was arrested at Toftwood Social Club within five hours of Mr Heed’s body being discovered, in February this year.

Later, in court, Beane admitted the murder after initially pleading not guilty.

Sgt Graves said: “The bag was a crucial find in the case, following a tip-off, and the support from the public had a huge role in bringing this man to justice.
“The fact that he just dumped this bag in a field and carried on like nothing had happened shows what a distant and dangerous man this is.

A map showing the scene of the murder in Dereham and the area, in Hardingham, where the bag was dumped. Picture: ARCHANT. A map showing the scene of the murder in Dereham and the area, in Hardingham, where the bag was dumped. Picture: ARCHANT.

“We don’t know what else he would have been capable of if we hadn’t got him off the streets so quickly.

“People told us the two men had been seen together and when we went to Toftwood Social Club people were keen to help us. I’ve been to other bars, which are anti-police, where we wouldn’t have had that support.

“Cases of such extreme violence are few and far between. I’ve seen it in gangland related murders in London, where people want to send out a message, but what sort of message was this? It was a needless and brutal killing of a defenceless and kind-natured pensioner.”

He added: “I remember in the station, on the night we arrested Beane, there was a real feeling of this is why we do this job.

“With great support from the community, we delivered a cracking service and did what we are paid to do.

“We got a very dangerous man off the streets and brought him to justice.

“Hopefully Mr Heed’s relatives and friends can take some comfort from that.”

Pair met at social club

Beane met Mr Heed at Toftwood Social Club, where they were both regulars.

Mr Heed told his brother Beane had been using his house for a few days. He said Beane had lost his job and was about to lose his rental accommodation.

However, Mr Heed told Beane to get out of his home when he suspected him of rifling through some drawers, accusing him of stealing. Beane denied it, but later admitted to a psychiatrist that he had taken cash to spend on cigarettes, food and drink.

Mr Heed warned staff at Toftwood Social Club that Beane may attempt to steal from the till.

In an impact statement, Mr Heed’s brother Leslie described Beane as “evil” and said the barbaric act had caused all the family pain and anguish.

He said: “Our family is now forever broken.”

He added that their lives had been “changed forever” and the death of Mr Heed would always haunt him: “To die for so little gain just doesn’t make sense to any of us.”

Ian James, for Beane, told Norwich Crown Court it was not his intention to excuse the dreadful behaviour of Beane but said: “He is not able to explain his actions.”

He said that Beane deserved some credit for his guilty plea.

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