Teenagers released on bail amid investigation into murder of 82-year-old woman

The couple, aged 14 and 15 and both from the Lowestoft area, were in police custody following the death of 82-year-old Joy Middleditch, who lived in Pakefield, Suffolk.

Ms Middleditch was found lying on the floor of her end-of-terrace bungalow on Grayson Avenue by concerned relatives on Saturday, and police were called shortly after 1:50 p.m.

Middleditch Joy
Joy Middleditch (Handout/PA)

Her bag had been taken from her and was recovered a short distance away on Nelson Road.

On Saturday, officers were granted an extension to detain the boys for questioning, Suffolk police said.

In the evening, the couple were released on bail, pending further investigation on June 7, 2023.

Ms Middleditch told relatives, and later police officers, that she had heard a noise at the door before two masked men forced their way in and knocked her to the ground.

Police said it is believed she was attacked between the night of Friday, March 24, and the early morning of Saturday, March 25.

The retiree was found conscious and breathing but was in serious condition and was taken to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk.

Death of Joy Middleditch
Floral tributes outside the home of the 82-year-old woman (Sam Russell/PA)

He died there early Monday morning.

A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out on Monday, but the cause of death has yet to be confirmed, pending further investigation, the force said.

Ms Middleditch’s family said in an earlier statement issued through the police: “Joy was a strong and determined character who loved life and her dog.

“She was a loving person who was sadly taken from us too soon.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the main investigation team by emailing MITincident.room@suffolk.police.uk or calling 101 quoting reference 37/17537/23.

People can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.


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