Suffolk

Weybread killings: 'Mystery man' spotted week before deaths

Sylvia Stuart and Peter Stuart Image copyright Diss Express
Image caption The body of Peter Stuart was found, but his wife Sylvia remains missing

A woman whose parents were allegedly murdered told a jury that a mystery man accosted her father in his garden a week before he died.

Peter Stuart, 75, was stabbed to death last June. The body of Sylvia Stuart, 69, has never been found.

Christy Paxman said her father told her an unknown man approached him in his garden in Weybread, Suffolk.

The defendant, named by prosecutors as Ali Qazimaj, denies murder and claims he is a victim of mistaken identity.

The 43-year-old said he is not the man wanted by police and that his real name is Vital Dapi, formerly of Tilbury, Essex, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Image caption Police went to the house in Weybread

According to Mrs Paxman, the man said "I understand you want to sell up" when he approached Mr Stuart on 28 May.

She added: "Dad was surprised at that, as he hadn't had anyone round to value the house."

'Did something bad'

Mr Qazimaj was a carer to Mrs Paxman's elderly father-in-law, Sidney Paxman, and, according to prosecutors, had accrued gambling debts.

Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, said Mr Paxman mentioned the Stuarts to the defendant, describing them as millionaires.

Giving evidence by videolink the 88-year-old said his carer had "started borrowing heavily" from him to the tune of almost £10,000.

Mr Paxman said Mr Qazimaj had looked up the boarding kennel business of his son, Stephen Paxman, online.

Image caption Up to 30 officers were involved in the search in Weybread

He also described an occasion where Mr Qazimaj came to see him after work on 3 June, and was in a "bad temper, a foul mood".

"He seemed very agitated," he said, adding that Mr Qazimaj told him he had left his job.

Asked about what else he had said, Mr Paxman said: "He didn't say what he had actually done, but he did say 'I've done something bad.

"I thought it was related to his job at the time."

The Stuarts were last seen alive at Goodies Farm Shop in Pulham Market, Norfolk, on 29 May last year. They were reported missing five days later.

Mr Stuart was found in a river with nine stab wounds near his home on 3 June. Police are still looking for the body of his wife.

The trial continues.

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