Chidham fire double murder suspect dies – he was victim’s brother-in-law

Dennis and Sheila Jefferson, who died in a  house fire in Chidham at the weekend
Dennis and Sheila Jefferson, who died in a house fire in Chidham at the weekend
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A MAN believed to have murdered an elderly couple in their home and then set the house on fire has died.

Police confirmed yesterday they wanted to question 70-year-old Norman Williams, the brother-in-law of victim Sheila Jefferson, 73, over her and her husband Dennis’ death at their Chidham home on Saturday morning.

Firefighters were called to their home, in Maybush Drive, and found the bungalow engulfed in flames. The couple, in their 70s, were found dead inside.

But a murder investigation was launched when a postmortem examination revealed the couple were already dead before the fire had begun and had suffered head and neck injuries.

Williams turned up at a property in Rotherfield, East Sussex, suffering severe burns on Saturday afternoon. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition where he died on Tuesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: ‘The information we have so far had led us to treat Norman as the suspect in our investigation. He has since passed away in hospital. We do not have any information that there is anyone else involved.

‘This is a tragic incident and the families of all those involved has asked for privacy and time to grieve at this time.

‘We are continuing to appeal to anyone in the area who might have seen or heard anything suspicious in Maybush Drive between 9am on Friday and 8.35am when the fire started on Saturday morning.’