Norfolk Shooting: Councillor And Wife Dead

Neighbours and colleagues of a council leader and his wife found shot dead outside their home have spoken of their shock and disbelief.

North Norfolk District Council leader Keith Johnson, 58, and his wife Andrea, 44, were found dead outside their bungalow at 2.50pm on Sunday, police have confirmed.

The couple lived in Compit Hills, in Roughton, near Cromer.

A spokesman from Norfolk Constabulary said they found the body of a woman in the front garden, and the body of a man in a nearby back garden.

Detectives are not looking for anybody else in connection with the incident.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he was "deeply shocked" by the news.

"I've known Keith for some years through his work on the council and we both attended the wedding of a mutual friend a few years ago," he said.

"We've always been on very good terms despite the fact I'm Lib Dem and he was a Conservative.

"I didn't know Andrea beyond seeing them both at civic events but she was always good for a friendly chat.

"I share the community's sense of disbelief and my heart goes out to all of their family and friends."

Derek Houlston, whose garden backs on to the couple's property, said he had seen Mr Johnson "looking depressed" the day before he was found dead. 

"We moved in a month ago and they made us very welcome - he even offered to help sort out our bins with the council," he added.

 "She was bubbly and really friendly. We used to see her walking her dog. He was always very friendly too but we saw him doing his paper round - which she got him to do to keep fit - on Saturday and he seemed really depressed.

"I said hello but he just kept his head down and didn't respond."

Earlier, members and staff at the council gathered at the authority's Cromer headquarters where deputy leader, Tom FitzPatrick, read a brief statement.

He said: "I am sure that councillors and officers alike will share the deep sense of loss that I and the rest of the cabinet feel at this terrible news and will join me in sending our condolences to the families of Keith and Andrea.

"In the circumstances I am sure that you will all understand that I have decided to postpone the formal business of cabinet this morning as a mark of respect to a great friend and colleague."

The couple have been described by their local newspaper as "prominent and much-loved" figures in their community.

Mr Johnson was also a former Cromer mayor and a long-serving member of both the district and town council.

He was elected as council leader earlier this year, had helped organise the town's Christmas market, launched at the weekend as part of a series of festive events.

On Friday he attended the opening of a Waitrose store in nearby North Walsham.

It is understood the couple did not have children but Mr Johnson had a family from a previous marriage.

They had been together for 18 years and married in 2004.

Detective Superintendent Peter Hornby, who is leading the inquiry into the deaths, said: "Whilst I understand this is a very shocking incident for the neighbours of the two people involved, I can reassure them that, at this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with it."

Post-mortem tests are being carried out.