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Sutton Hoo tour guides in ‘murder-suicide’ after husband choked wife to death then hanged himself

A man in his 70s choked a woman to death before hanging himself at a £500,000 Grade II-listed house in Suffolk, police said.

Forensic teams arrived at the scene in Cumberland Street, Woodbridge, after emergency services were alerted just after 6.15pm on Saturday.   

The couple found at the house have been named locally as husband and wife Jonathan and Sally Metcalf.

Officers spent the night standing guard outside the semi-detached 18th century terraced home, close to the centre of Woodbridge. 

On Sunday, police said post mortems revealed Sally Metcalf, who was in her 60s, died as a result of compression to her neck and her death is being treated as murder.

The female victim has been named locally as Sally Metcalf, a volunteer and tour guides at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon ship burial site

The man has been named locally as Jonathan Metcalf while investigations are continuing

The man has been named locally as Jonathan Metcalf while investigations are continuing 

Police have launched an investigation following the deaths at a £500,000 Grade II-listed house in Cumberland Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk

Police have launched an investigation following the deaths at a £500,000 Grade II-listed house in Cumberland Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk

Jonathan Metcalf hanged himself and officers said his death is not being treated as suspicious.

The couple moved to Cumberland Street, where some homes sell for more than £1million about 12 years ago.  

Mr Metcalf is said to have been a gardener and an allotment holder, while both were  volunteers and tour guides at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon ship burial site, according to the Eastern Anglian Daily Times.

The up-market town of Woodbridge was named by the Sunday Times last month as the best place to live in the East of England. 

The website reported neighbour neighbour Clare Perkins, a former mayor of Woodbridge, saying: ‘They were a lovely, wonderful couple who were loved in Woodbridge. 

‘It is an absolutely tragic thing to happen and it’s been such a shock to everyone in Cumberland Street. We are all feeling it. It is a great loss to the community.’

Situated beside the River Deben, Woodbridge is acclaimed for its fine shops and pubs and is described by tourist chiefs as ‘the gem in Suffolk’s crown’.

Emergency services arrived at the Georgian town house just after 6.15pm on Saturday

Emergency services arrived at the Georgian town house just after 6.15pm on Saturday

A police car was still parked outside the Georgian home the next day as investigations continue

A police car was still parked outside the Georgian home the next day as investigations continue

Property website Zoopla lists the average price of similar Georgian terraced homes in Cumberland Street as £537,653, while larger properties in the street are valued at £703,205. 

The road was closed to traffic as detectives began house to house inquiries, asking neighbours if they had had heard anything suspicious.

Officers spent the night standing guard outside the property as the investigation continues

Officers spent the night standing guard outside the property as the investigation continues

One witness said at least three ambulances were seen in the street along with five police cars and other unmarked police vehicles during the early evening.

A Suffolk Police statement said: ‘Police have launched an investigation following the sudden death of a man and a woman at an address in Woodbridge.

‘Officers were called shortly after 6.15pm yesterday to reports that two adults had been discovered deceased within a property in Cumberland Street.

‘A police scene remains in place while an investigation into the circumstances of the deaths continues.

Forensic teams arrived at the scene, where a man and woman were found dead on Saturday

Forensic teams arrived at the scene, where a man and woman were found dead on Saturday

‘The parties involved are known to each other and there is no wider threat to the community.’

Woodbridge is also known as the home of the famous Anglo-Saxon burial ship, which was found at Sutton Hoo beside the River Deben in 1939.

The discovery of the 86ft long ship in a burial mound featured in this year’s hit Netflix film The Dig starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police, quoting incident number 37/17853/21 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details


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