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Man charged with Claire's murder

PUBLISHED: 10:03 19 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:05 03 July 2010

A man has been remanded in custody accused of the murder of a “kind hearted and fun loving” court worker found dead at her home in Norwich,

Paul Hubbard, from Norwich, was arrested on Monday after the discovery of Claire Roberts' body at her home in John Stephen Court.

A man has been remanded in custody accused of the murder of a “kind hearted and fun loving” court worker found dead at her home in Norwich,

Paul Hubbard, from Norwich, was arrested on Monday after the discovery of Claire Roberts' body at her home in John Stephen Court. It is alleged he killed her some time between May 4 and May 7, supporting the view that the 29-year-old may have lain undiscovered for several days.

The 39-year-old appeared before Norwich Crown Court on Friday afternoon after magistrates refused to hear the case. Miss Roberts, originally from Great Yarmouth, was a case management officer at the magistrates' court and many former colleagues sat in the public gallery throughout Mr Hubbard's brief appearance.

But others chose to stay away and said it would be insensitive for their friend's suspected killer to appear in the place she worked. Peter Tidey, Norfolk's chief crown prosecutor, told the court the case may eventually have to be moved out of the county as court staff could be called as witnesses. Mr Hubbard, of no fixed address, did not indicate how he is likely to plea and was remanded in custody until his next hearing in July.

Her parents, Dennis and Janet, spoke for the first time since the tragedy. They described her as a loving daughter and younger sister to David.

They said: “We are totally devastated by what has happened, we were a strong loving family, now our and David's lives will never be the same. Claire will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.”

Miss Roberts was born in Yarmouth but grew up living in Caister with her parents. She attended the schools in Caister then studied at Yarmouth College.

After work experience at Norwich Crown Court she got a job at magistrates, where she worked ever since. Her family said she was a dedicated hard working person, devoted to her work. She loved for music and had a large circle of friends.

Pauline Cornford, area director for Her Majesty's Courts Service, said: “Claire had many close friends and she was a popular and important member of the team at Norwich Magistrates' Court.

“She was always very enthusiastic and committed to ensuring she did a good job and we shall miss her greatly for her cheerful and outgoing personality as much as for her work. Our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time.”

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the Prince of Denmark pub on Monday, May 5, to come forward. They would also like to hear from anybody who may have seen her in the run up to her death.

The investigation was initially treated as a suspicious death but was upgraded to murder after a post-mortem. One of they key details police are still trying to establish is when precisely she died.


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