Unique and emotional tributes to murder victim

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Friday 7pm: Friends of murdered man John Chapman sprayed cider at his home in tribute to the 56-year-old.

Toni Roberts (25)and Michelle Bowles (39), both of Bifield, left flowers, lit candles and sprayed cider at the doorway of the home to pay tribute to Mr Chapman, who was named today as one of the men murdered and left in a ditch at Thorney Dyke.

As the pair, with friend Darral Morrison (19) left their tribute outside the home, they said : “Rest in peace bruv,’ and ‘we are going to get justice.

Miss Bowles said: “We decided to do this as a mark of respect.
“John was a good drinker, and we thought this would be the best way to pay our respects.”

Miss Roberts, who lived with Mr Chapman left a note with the flowers, which read: “Dear John, I can’t explain how the lost or the hurt is going on for the family that has lost you. You will be missed. Love always, Toni xx”

She said Mr Chapman had been a good friend, who would always buy here a bar of chocolate every week.

She said: “He used to call me his little sister. He said he had family in Leeds but no-one else.

“John was just like Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses. He always used to talk about his time in the navy and he liked a drink.

“I last saw him on Friday morning outside the house. He just said ‘alright sis’ and had a laugh.

“He didn’t bother anyone. He liked a drink, but wouldn’t cause any trouble.”

Miss Roberts moved out of the home in Bifield a month ago, and said she was the person who had reported him missing to police.

She said: “John didn’t hurt no-one. He used to just sit in his room drinking after his wife died a year ago.

“I used to go check on him and get his medication and do his shopping.

“He was harmless and I don’t know why anyone would target him. He was only a small guy.

“Kevin was my landlord because I lived there for about seven months up until four weeks ago.

“He was really kind to me and didn’t make me pay a deposit or anything.

“I can’t say a bad word about him really.”

Mr Chapman’s house in Bifield has now been boarded up, after police spent much of the week searching the property.

The police presence has now been lifted at the site, but Michelle Bowles (39), also of Bifield, said the week’s events had come as a shock.

She said: “There has been a forensic van in the area, and men in white suits were emptying everything from the house.”

Another resident in Bifield said: “It is a shock to have something like this happening here, especially when there are so many children about.”