Southsea friends pay tribute to 'popular' Alan Norton - who spent his life trying to clear his name of the murder of his sister Joy Norton in Jersey

TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘unique’ man, who spent almost 60 years trying to clear his name after the murder of his sister.

Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:57 am

Alan Norton died on May 18 while on a walk back to his home in St Ronans Road after ‘keeling over’ in the street.

Passers-by and paramedics were unable to resuscitate the 79-year-old, who is yet to undergo an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Now his friends have shared their memories of the former Woolworths worker, who had an ‘unusual’ story.

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Alan Norton pictured in 2014. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143173-4)

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Alan settled in the city in 1996 after serving more than 30 years in jail for the assault and murder of his 10-year-old sister Joy in his home of Jersey in 1965.

Up until his death Alan maintained his innocence – something that meant he was repeatedly denied parole – and. In 2012 he underwent a lie detector test that indicated he was telling the truth.

He always believed his sister was murdered by the convicted rapist Edward Paisnel, otherwise known as ‘Beast of Jersey,’ who terrorised Jersey between 1957 and 1971.

Alan Norton, who lived in Southsea, with Princess

Speaking to The News in 2012, when he was calling for DNA testing to be carried out on Joy’s dress, Alan said: ‘I’ve lost everything. Not only did I lose my sister, my wife divorced me and my son is a stranger to me.

‘I hated prison. I spent the best years of my life there for a crime I did not commit.

‘This is not about vengeance or hatred. I just want to clear my name and also get justice for my sister because she’s never been able to rest in peace.’

During his sentence Alan spent time in prisons including Kingston Prison, in Portsmouth, and ultimately Wormwood Scrubs, in London.

Joy Norton pictured - submitted photo

His first home on the outside was at the Victoria House hostel in the centre of Portsmouth, where he lived for a year before moving to Southsea.

Jackie Davis-Smith, from Milton, was one of the people who ran the hostel, which has since closed.

The 60-year-old said: ‘We all stayed friends. He was such a friendly man, he was a bit of a character.

‘The thing was he was always open about his time in jail and would tell people about it. More than anything he just wanted justice for Joy.

Alan Norton with his lie detector results in 2012

‘He made a life for himself in Portsmouth despite all that happened. He worked at Woolworths in Palmerston Road stacking shelves to begin with and then for the Hilton Hotel in Eastern Road, and then for the navy past retirement age. He was always upfront with employers but they trusted him.’

Alan became a well-known figure in Southsea after getting a dog – a Dogue de Bordeaux called Princess – about four years ago.

‘He loved Princess so much,’ Jackie said.

‘People would see him out and about walking her along the seafront and I think he became a bit of a local figure.’

At Alan’s request Princess was returned to her mother and breeder in Wales after his death.

Alan Norton, who lived in Southsea, with Princess

Neighbour Gemma Straker described Alan as ‘like a grandparent to me.’

The 39-year-old said: ‘We became good friends during lockdown.

‘I would help with his shopping. And he was so kind to my daughter Hope. I was devastated to hear he died.’

A funeral date for Alan has yet to be set.

Alan wrote a book about his life called Justice Jersey Style, which can be read for free at alannorton.co.uk