Man who died while awaiting trial for murder sustained self-inflicted neck wound

Norfolk Police launched a ‘no body’ murder investigation after inquiries found Ms Douglas had not been seen for a “significant period”.

Sam Russell
Monday 17 January 2022 14:01
Diane Douglas was reported missing by family members “who had lost contact with her for several years”. (Norfolk Police/PA)
Diane Douglas was reported missing by family members “who had lost contact with her for several years”. (Norfolk Police/PA)

A man found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial for the murder of missing Diane Douglas had sustained a self-inflicted neck wound.

Stuart Williamson, 56, was accused of killing Ms Douglas between December 1 and December 31 2018, when she would have been 55 or 56.

Williamson was found dead in his prison cell at HMP Norwich at around 5pm on December 29 2021, Norfolk Police said.

  • October 21 2021: Ms Douglas is reported missing by family, triggering a 'no body' murder investigation
  • October 30: Williamson is arrested before being charged with murder, with a trial set for April 2022. He had not yet entered a plea.
  • November 2: Ms Douglas's remains are found in the garden of a house in Colton
  • December 29: Williamson is found dead in his cell
  • January 14, 2022: Details of Williamsons's death emerge at an inquest hearing
  • February 8, 2022: Date of next hearing

The force said his medical cause of death was stated, at an inquest which was opened and adjourned on Friday, as “hypovolemic shock” due to a “self-inflicted left neck wound”.

Hypovolemic shock is where severe blood loss causes low blood pressure.

Ms Douglas, from Colton, a village west of Norwich, was reported missing by family members on October 21 2021.

Norfolk Police launched a ‘no body’ murder investigation after inquiries found Ms Douglas had not been seen for a “significant period”.

Ms Douglas’s remains were then found in the garden of a house in Barford Road, Colton, on November 2, the force said.

A Home Office post-mortem examination established the provisional cause of death as unascertained due to the state of decomposition, with further examination to be carried out.

Williamson, of Barford Road in Colton, had been arrested in Wales on October 30 and was later charged with murder.

He had yet to enter a plea to the charge and was remanded in custody, facing a trial at Norwich Crown Court in April.

Williamson was found dead in his prison cell at HMP Norwich at around 5pm on December 29, Norfolk Police said on Friday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

A further hearing is due to take place at Norwich Crown Court on February 8.

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