East Belfast murder probe: Neighbours shocked and saddened by discovery of woman’s body

Residents of the Braniel estate in east Belfast say the local community has been left shocked after a woman’s body was discovered at a flat in the area.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 12:11 pm
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 1:15 pm

The body of the 53-year-old was found at a property on Whincroft Way on Sunday night.

Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigations Team are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and are treating it as murder.

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out today.

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Colin Grant, 47, lives close to the scene of the incident on Whincroft Way.
Colin Grant, 47, lives close to the scene of the incident on Whincroft Way.

A 42-year-old man has been arrested and remains in custody at this time.

The woman, who hasn’t yet been named, was described by neighbours as “quiet” and “friendly”.

Colin Grant, 47, lives close to the scene of the incident on Whincroft Way.

He described the woman’s death as “very sad” and said the community has been shocked by what happened.

Forensic experts at the scene in east Belfast where a murder investigation has been launched after a 53-year-old woman's body was found on Sunday night in the Whincroft Way area of the Braniel estate. Pic by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

“She was a quiet woman. You’d see her passing by with her two wee dogs,” he said.

“This area used to have a reputation back in the day but now it is really quiet. Everybody kind of knows everybody, they nod to each other and say hello, there’s never any trouble so this is a real shock.”

Another resident of Whincroft Way, who didn’t want to be named, said: “This is a very quiet area now compared to what it was years ago. Nothing really happens so this has shocked people.

“You would have seen her and her bloke walking the two Jack Russells round the block, so it is very sad what has happened.”

Another man who didn’t want to be named said he lived two flats away from the woman who died.

“She’s not long moved in – maybe two or three years,” he said. “She was a friendly girl who you’d just see out walking her two wee dogs. She was quite quiet and kept herself to herself really. There was never any bother out of her. It is sad what has happened.”

DUP MLA Robin Newton described the woman’s death as “another dreadful incident in the east of the city that will cause concern right across the community.”

“That the police are treating the death as yet another murder in this part of Belfast is very worrying,” he said.

UUP councillor Jim Rodgers added: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family at this dreadful time.

“I would urge anyone who knows what happened to assist the police with their inquiries.”

Detectives investigating the circumstances of the woman’s death have appealed for witnesses to come forward.