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Police explain delay in naming Peter Wrighton as victim of East Harling murder

PUBLISHED: 15:48 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:06 10 August 2017

Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.

Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.

The horrific murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton has raised a number of questions.

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

Most notably, why did it take so long to launch a murder investigation and why was the victim not publicly identified sooner?

The initial call came in at 10.45am on Saturday, August 5 after the discovery of Mr Wrighton’s body.

It was treated as unexplained until a murder probe was launched on Monday, August 7 - more than 37 hours later.

MORE: Family hopeful of answers after brutal murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton in woodland near East Harling

Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry. Peter Wrighton, who has been named as the 83-year-old man who was stabbed to death while walking his two dogs in East Harling, Norfolk. Picture Norfolk Constabualry.

Mr Wrighton was not named until Wednesday, the day after police had issued a description of the victim.

Surely those few hours after the discovery of the body would have been vital in locating the killer and warning the public?

In response Norfolk Constabulary said: “The nature of the assault meant that it was not clear until after an extensive Home Office PM what had caused the injuries. As soon as we had that detail we issued it.”

They also said they needed the “agreement of the coroner’s officer” to release the identity of the victim.

MORE: Dedicated phone lines set up by police for those with information about East Harling murder

“There is a process that police investigations have to follow and this includes identification of victims,” Norfolk police added. “The identification comes under HM coroner’s jurisdiction and permission to release the victim’s name has been given early as this would usually take place at the inquest. The Constabulary will always look to release information as soon as is appropriate.”

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