Delays to psychiatric reports sees Gorleston murder trial adjourned

Linda Hood with late husband Alan Hood.

Linda Hood with late husband Alan Hood. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

The trial of a man accused of the murder of a woman in Gorleston has been adjourned until later this year, because of difficulties in obtaining psychiatric reports.

Paul Kelly-Bridle, 59, was due to go on trial next week charged with the murder of Linda Hood, 68, who was found dead inside her home in Cherwell Way, Gorleston following a fire.

A property on Cherwell Way, Gorleston, has been taped off after police launched a murder probe.

A property on Cherwell Way, Gorleston, has been taped off after police launched a murder probe following the death of a woman. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

But at a hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday (May 3), John Hardy QC, who represents the defendant, said that there had been difficulties in obtaining the required psychiatric reports to explore the issue of fitness to plead.

Mr Hardy, who is supported by Danielle O'Donovan, said "the case cannot proceed realistically on Monday" and urged the court to put the case back to later in the year.

Judge Alice Robinson adjourned the trial, which is expected to last four weeks, until November 14.

Kelly-Bridle, of Worcester Way, Gorleston is charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

Police remain on scene at Cherwell Way, Gorleston after the body of a woman was discovered following a house fire. 

Police remain on scene at Cherwell Way, Gorleston after the body of Linda Hood was discovered following a house fire.  - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Ms Hood was found dead inside her home on June 11 last year after emergency services were called to a fire at the address at around 9.10am.

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Her brother Tony Green has previously paid tribute to his "beloved sister".

He said: "I am deeply saddened to hear the awful news of how my beloved sister Linda has died, she was a kind, friendly lady who would assist in helping anyone out."

Ms Hood was described by neighbours as a "larger than life woman who always had a smile on her face".