NEIGHBOURS have spoken of their shock after police charged a husband with the murder of his elderly wife.
Peter Beaver, 80, of Sherfield Avenue, Leigh Park, was today due to appear before Portsmouth magistrates charged with killing his 81-year-old wife Annie, after her body was discovered in their home early on Saturday morning.
Beaver, along with a 55-year-old man, was arrested shortly afterwards and the house was cordoned off while forensic officers searched the property for clues as to how Mrs Beaver died.
On Sunday, as they charged the husband with murder, police released the other man without charge.
He is now helping them as a witness.
A post-mortem has been carried out but police have not revealed the results.
Mrs Beaver’s family have released a recent photo of her but were too upset to make a public statement.
Chris Riddell, 28, said he was ‘gobsmacked’ to hear of the arrest.
The father-of-two said: ‘I’ve known him all my life.
‘Peter must have walked his dog past my house three times a day and he would always stop and say hello and ask how I am.
‘He is such a lovely man. My mum is just a bit younger than him and whenever he saw her he would help her out with her shopping and give her a lift home.
‘He is one of the good people you get in the community.’
Mr Riddell said Beaver was known to be his wife’s carer and she had been unwell.
He said: ‘She kept herself to herself. She ventured out occasionally, I’ve seen her in the car.
‘But if they went to the shops she would stay in the car. I’m gobsmacked by this. It’s hard to take in.’
Another neighbour said: ‘I’m in complete shock. We knew something had happened because we saw lots of police and a white tent outside.
‘It’s awful. They are a lovely family. I see her husband walking his little white terrier all the time. I think she was very frail.
‘You would sometimes see her at the gate but never any further. What a tragedy.’
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Ellie Hurd thanked the residents of Sherfield Avenue and surrounding streets for their understanding and ongoing co-operation with the investigation.