Pensioner, 71, arrested on suspicion of murder after churchwarden Julia Thurgaland is found strangled


Sleepy village left in shock as pensioner held after wife, 70, is found strangled
A post-mortem revealed Julia Thurgaland, 70, was strangled to deathThe grandmother was found dead at her home in Maplebeck, near NewarkA 71-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

|

UPDATED:

00:35 GMT, 31 December 2012

A village has been left in shock after an elderly farmer was arrested on suspicion of strangling his wife in their farmhouse.

Grandmother Julia Thurgarland, 70, was found dead on Friday afternoon. Her 71-year-old husband Peter was arrested at the scene but was badly injured and had to be taken to Lincoln Hospital.

He has yet to be questioned by officers and remains in a serious but stable condition. Police have not revealed the nature of her husband’s injuries or how they were incurred.

Enlarge

Discovered: Mrs Thurgaland was found dead at her home, in Maplebeck, on Friday

Discovered: Mrs Thurgaland was found dead at her home, in Maplebeck, on Friday

Last night residents spoke of how the
murder had shaken their community. Mrs Thurgarland was a churchwarden at
St Radegunds Church in Maplebeck, a quiet village of just 96 residents.

Neighbours said she and her husband, who had been married for 46 years, had farmed in the village for decades before retiring.

Retired local vicar Eddie Neale said:
‘There is an enormous sense of shock, obviously, in the whole village
and in the wider community that such a thing could happen here.

‘They were much-loved people. He had
been one of the local farmers here and looked after quite a large area.
She had been involved in all sorts of organisations around the place.’

Cordon: Police have today continued investigations at the house where Mrs Thurgaland and the injured man were found

Cordon: Police have today continued investigations at the house where Mrs Thurgaland and the injured man were found

Inquiries: Police carrying out the investigation are continuing to appeal for information into the incident

Inquiries: Police carrying out the investigation are continuing to appeal for information into the incident

Pillar of the community: Mrs Thurgaland was a churchwarden at St Radegunds Church, in Maplebeck

Pillar of the community: Mrs Thurgaland was a churchwarden at St Radegunds Church, in Maplebeck

The couple’s three children – David, 41, Ann, 39, and Jane, 37 – are being supported by specially trained officers.

Prayers were yesterday being said at a
service at the local church. The Reverend Richard Seymour-Whiteley
said: ‘Our prayers are with them all [the family], along with all those
who knew Julia well.’

One villager, who did not want to be
named, said: ‘We are a very small and tightknit community. Mrs
Thurgarland was well known and very popular.’

Another villager added:
‘The whole village is in shock, it’s just tragic. It’s such a small
community, everyone knows everyone.’

Maplebeck is situated in the
mid-Nottinghamshire countryside, near the ancient minster town of
Southwell. A post-mortem examination found that Mrs Thurgarland had been
strangled.