A MAN has appeared in court charged with murdering his wife in a care home.

Ronald King, 86, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Rita King, 81, was shot in the head at Delamer care home in Walton on Monday morning.

King spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the short two minute hearing.

Mr King, who only has one arm, walked with a crutch and struggled to get in and out of the dock.

He has been remanded into custody and will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court tomorrow.


A post mortem examination was carried out yesterday.

The bullet came from what is believed to be a 1934 Enfield revolved, which was found at the scene.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Julie Curtis, who has run Delamer residential home for two years, described the moment she convinced the alleged gunman to hand over his weapon.

She put her arm around the man, who had reportedly been staying at the home for one week, and pleaded for him to drop the weapon.

She said: “I put my left arm around him and put his right arm between him and the gun and said 'please, please give me the gun', and he let go.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Mrs Curtis said the staff had dealt with the situation “brilliantly”.

She said: “It's a shock - I cannot believe it happened at a residential care home.

“Our staff have been brilliant, staying calm and speaking to the residents who live here. Under the circumstances, everyone is coping very well.”

Family liaison officers were supporting the victim's family last night.

Police have also confirmed that a revolver was recovered from the scene, which will be examined by forensic and ballistic experts.

Officers were called to the care home just after 9am, following reports that a woman had been seriously injured.

Police officers and ambulance crews attended but the woman died at the scene.

Police said they believed she had been shot.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are leading the murder enquiry.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Police officers at Delamer House care home

Rita's next of kin have been informed. 

Det Chf Insp Simon Werrett, who is leading the investigation, said inquiries were ongoing.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • A forensics officer at the scene of the shooting in Walton-on-the-Naze

A scene guard was been put in place at the premises whilst forensic searches were carried out.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Essex Police on 101 or email SCDappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk.

If people wish to remain anonymous they can call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Local residents have spoken of their shock following the shooting.

One told the Gazette: "We just can't believe it. You would never expect something so awful to happen inside a care home."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • People have reacted with shock on our Facebook page

Delamer House is a privately-owned home run by Novocare Ltd and can take up to 57 elderly residents.

It costs £475-£575 a week for a single room and £400-£495 per person for a shared room.

The homes offers specialist care in areas including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, head and brain injuries, deafness, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke and visual impairment.

There are 53 single rooms and two shared rooms.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Aerial view of the home just yards from Walton beach

The home's last Care Quality Commission inspection report in June 2014 found residents were cared for in an environment that was safe, clean and hygienic, and the right recruitment checks were completed before staff were employed there.

No areas were singled out as needing to improve.