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Bracelet may be link to woodland murder

A BROKEN gold bracelet recovered from a wood where a man was stabbed and beaten to death as he fed foxes could have been left behind by one of his attackers, detectives said yesterday.

Robert Wignall, 55, a plasterer, was killed in an apparently motiveless attack on Saturday evening. He had been feeding foxes with his wife Sandra, 47, in a wooded copse just 50 yards from their home in Addlestone, Surrey.

Det Supt Pat Crossan, of Surrey CID, said police had received 100 calls from the public since the murder. 'It seems that there was a struggle, and the gold bracelet was later found at the scene. The attack all seems to have happened in a matter of minutes and as yet the victim's wife can think of no reason for why they were confronted.'

Police said three men had approached Mr Wignall and asked him whether he had seen a boxer puppy in the wood. As he was attacked, Mr Wignall told his wife to flee; she returned minutes later to find her husband dying from stab wounds to the chest. The murder weapon has not been found.

Motives being considered by police include the possibility that the men had been engaged in a drugs deal when they were disturbed by the Wignalls.

Mr Crossan said the boxer puppy referred to by the men might not exist, but police would be contacting owners of that breed in the area.

Mr Wignall had lived in the area for 15 years and met his wife when walking his dog last year. Both of their previous spouses had died of cancer.

He had three children by his previous marriage; Mrs Wignall's 14-year-old daughter, from her first marriage, lives in the family home in Addlestone.

The attackers are thought to be in their teens or early twenties, one was wearing a baseball hat and another wore a tracksuit top.