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Aldborough Hatch murder: Residents' reaction as man found dead in quiet country lane

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2019

The small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt Clemenson

The small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt Clemenson

Archant

Aldborough Hatch residents have told of the "unsettling" atmosphere in their neighbourhood since a murder investigation was launched after a man's unresponsive body was found there on Saturday morning.

The small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt ClemensonThe small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt Clemenson

The Metropolitan Police were called to Oaks Lane at 6.12am on Saturday, November 2 after the man, believed to be in his 50s, was found unresponsive.

Officers attended with the London Ambulance Service but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination held on Sunday, November 3, at East Ham Mortuary concluded a head injury was the most likely cause of death.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman has confirmed a further update on the investigation is expected later today (Tuesday, November 5).

The small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt ClemensonThe small stretch of land just off Oaks Lane where the man's body was discovered. Picture: Matt Clemenson

One Aldborough Hatch resident, who asked to remain anonymous but lives less than 200m from where the man's body was found, told the Recorder locals knew nothing about the incident until police lights lit up the area early on Saturday morning.

They said: "It was pitch black when I woke up, and I looked out over the fields and all I could see was the lights through the trees so we knew something was going on, but nobody really told us anything.

"It gets so dark down there, especially this time of year, so unless someone saw a car or something pulling out onto the main road I don't know what else the police can do.

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"It does make you think a bit, the whole place feels unsettling now - I just hope they catch whoever did it."

Another resident told the Recorder the entire incident was a "wake up call".

They said: "We've had police going round knocking on doors, asking if we have any CCTV.

"I had to tell them, 'we've never even felt like we needed CCTV before'. It's normally such a quiet area.

"Now we're thinking about it. You never know what might happen."

Ron Jeffries, of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, had also been doorknocked by police officers asking about potential CCTV footage.

He told the Recorder: "In general it's a very safe place, but a lot of people don't realise how open it is.

"You can walk from Aldborough Hatch all the way to Barkingside in the open air, and many people do.

"Sadly, this isn't the first murder we have had in Aldborough Hatch, but the last one was in 2002 so although they do happen they are very uncommon."

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