Former Marine awaits sentence for murdering elderly dog walker

A former Royal Marine who murdered an elderly dog walker he had never met will be sentenced later.

Alexander Palmer attacked 83-year-old Peter Wrighton on August 5 last year after telling mental health professionals that he wanted to kill a stranger.

The 24-year-old, who is understood to have served with 29 Commando, was caught by police after a psychologist who had worked with him at RAF Marham said he was the culprit.

Alexander Palmer court case
Peter Wrighton was murdered (Norfolk Police/PA)

Mr Wrighton, 83, had been walking his two dogs, a mongrel called Gemma and a Scarteen Harrier named Dylan, in woodland known as The Heath near East Harling in Norfolk before he was stabbed in a frenzied attack.

The pensioner was left with injuries so severe that officers initially believed he had been attacked by a wild animal.

In a statement given after the guilty verdict on Wednesday, Mr Wrighton's daughter Carol Todd said her family had been failed by mental health professionals leading up to her father's death.

Palmer, of Bawdeswell, Norfolk, will be sentenced by Mr Justice Goose at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.

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