Boy, 16, and 28-year-old man charged with murder after retired farm worker, 83, was strangled at Essex homeJanuary 3, 2021
A 16-YEAR-OLD boy and a 28-year-old man have been charged with the murder of a pensioner who was strangled at his home.
Retired farm worker Donald Ralph, 83, was found dead at his home in the village of Aldham, near Colchester, Essex, on Tuesday.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Leighton Snook are due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Essex Police said a post-mortem found Mr Ralph died from strangulation.
Snook, of no fixed address, and the 16-year-old, from Leicester, have both been charged with murder and theft of a motor vehicle.
Snook also faces a charge of possession of an offensive weapon.
Essex Police previously said Mr Ralph’s car, a blue Volvo V50 which was stolen from outside his home, was later found in Hastings, East Sussex.
Don was a unique character, who will be much missed by his wide circle of friends, and all his family.”
Two men, aged 30 and 39, and a 21-year-old woman, have been released on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Mr Ralph’s family have described him as a man who loved being in the countryside and was “very young at heart”.
His niece, Tina Ralph, said: “He was a man who loved all things countryside, particularly fishing and the Norfolk Broads, as well as being an avid bird lover.
“He loved horse racing and spent many a happy Saturday having a little flutter.
“Don was a unique character, who will be much missed by his wide circle of friends, and all his family.”
A relative of Mr Ralph, who asked not to be named, choked back tears as he said: “I’d like ten minutes with the b****** who did it, that’s what I’d really like.
“I don’t know why anybody would want to do this. It is beyond my wildest, wildest nightmares.
“To think there are people in this world who would do something like this. He did various jobs and had been alone for 40 or 50 years.
"He was very happy. He was just a lovely man and I loved him. His car has gone and we don’t know why."
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