Murder at Red House Lane

1979, September: Murder at Red House Lane, just off Ashley Road, Walton-on-Thames:

Denis Turner: I think a woman was murdered and also remember going to the scene with Neville Cast as the local dog handler and Rod Hill who was the dog Sergeant at the time going. Also Tony Buddle the Woking handler at the time had his picture in the local paper whilst we were all there on the task.

Allan Hurlow: I was on a two week attachment to Walton CID in September 1979 when this happened. This incident kept me on CID and I stayed a Detective for the next twenty five years. I was one of the first on the scene, but for about a week after this I was 'Walton CID' and not part of the 'squad'.

The offender was James Courtney–Fuige who was working as a plumber in the house. I think he was stealing from the house whilst the lady of the house was out. He was disturbed and using a sock with three or four weighing scale weights, struck her about the head. He was shown as wanted and he eventually gave himself up at Waterloo Railway station to the British Transport Police.

Ian Moram: The handyman/gardener did it.

John C. Lane: In relation to the murder at Red House Lane the Officer in Case was Detective Inspector Tim Blake and the murder was committed by a local roadie by battering the lady occupant with a sand filled sock. He was later arrested at a doss house in Deptford. I cannot remember the villains name but as I recall he had broken into the house and the lady occupant disturbed him hence the reason for the murder. I will try to locate pocket books from the time and if I can come up with a name will let you know.

Len Rickard: Mr and Mrs Lawrence were having building work done and employed a plumber from Chertsey. I'm pretty sure his name was Fuidge. He blagged money off Mrs Lawrence on a number of occasions and unbeknown to either Mr or Mrs Lawrence Fuidge occasionally slept in their garage.

One morning Fuidge was after more money and after Mr Lawrence had gone to work he surprised Mrs Lawrence in her house and when she didn't give him money or at least not enough, he hit her over the head with a coin filled sock and killed her. Tim Blake was SIO and Fuidge was arrested and convicted.

Colin Boyles: Red House Lane Murder: Victim was a Mrs Lawrence. She came home from work at lunchtime and was attacked in her house and hit over the head with a sock filled with sand. The offender was a James Fuidge who lived at Chertsey. He was working as a builder at the house at the time. He was in the process of burgling the house when he was disturbed by Mrs. Lawrence. Convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment and died in prison. Case dealt with by Detective Inspector Tim Blake. I was a Detective Sergeant at Walton at the time.

Nick Brent: The October 1979 murder at Red House Lane related to a lady named Mrs Brenda Lawrence who was murdered for a few pounds which were spent at a betting shop by a handyman who was engaged to repair her central heating system named James Fuidge. I was the detective inspector at Walton. He was eventually arrested by the British Transport Police at Waterloo. Detective Chief Inspector Tim Blake and I collected him and interviewed him at Walton Police Station D.C. Clive Wilkinson accompanied us as exhibits officer.

Cliff Cox: I was the first Police officer at the scene and as I entered the house the lady was lying on the kitchen floor in a very large pool of blood. She had been hit over the head with a sock filled up with old kitchen scale weights. The offender was the gardener and he came from Engelfield Green and was part of a large family from Chertsey; I cannot remember his name. They found a shoe print at the scene and was thought to be good evidence but turned out to be that of a CID officer.

Bill Bethell: Roy Stanford and I were on a murder enquiry at Walton where a woman had been bludgeoned to death in her house where items had been stolen. The plumber who had been working at the house became the early suspect. This guy was prone to disappearing on the road so wanted posters were put up round the area. Roy and I toured the London Rail Stations putting the posters round.

The following day our suspect went into Kings Cross Police Station to make a complaint of theft on the station. The PC on the front desk looked at our notice and back to the suspect and arrested him. He was taken back to Walton where he was interviewed by Tim Blake in his office and confessed. (Prior to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984!)

Jamie Donaldson: I recall the body was found in the hallway where a mirror was removed by the killer from the wall and placed on the floor. This was done because he was hiding in the toilet and could see her reflection in the mirror when she came in. She in turn if looking in the mirror would see him in the doorway of the toilet. (He had broken in from the rear of the house.)

The killer was known to the victim, was a roadster type and was allowed to sleep in the shed. We found a footprint in blood on a brown paper bag from which shopping had fallen out in the hallway. This was sent to the Lab with shoes from the people who had attended the scene before the Scenes of Crime Officer arrived. The mark belonged to an ambulance man called to the scene by the neighbour who found the body. I recall that Assistant Chief Constable Kane attended the scene and sought permission to enter and where to walk. He was told to keep his hands in his pockets!

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