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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Aftermath of fear in Llanfairpwll
Investigators outside Mabel Leyshon's bungalow
Security was stepped up around Mrs Leyshon's home
As details of the savage attack on a 90-year-old widow emerged, members of the peaceful island community of Anglesey were stunned.

The initial feeling was one of "shock and disbelief," said Councillor John Roberts.

Councillor John Roberts
John Roberts: Elderly people were scared

"When they realised it had happened, there was concern, naturally among people who lived alone, especially the elderly, and also some of the young people who live on their own.

"The death did affect people's confidence but they are now willing to go out again."

Mrs Leyshon's body was discovered at her home in Llanfairpwll, on 25 November 2001.

She had been stabbed repeatedly and her heart had been removed in what was described in court as a "ritualistic killing".

Although she had lived in the village for about 30 years, Mabel Leyshon was regarded as a private person, who spoke to few people in the area.

She did have some friends locally who used to visit her regularly, but was not well known within the village, as her neighbour Frank Jones revealed.

Frank Jones
Neighbour Mr Jones rarely spoke to Ms Leyshon

"I'll be honest with you, I didn't know her name was Mabel - that's how private a lady she was," he said.

"I had very few dealings with her except if I wanted to cut the hedge or cut some trees down."

Mr Jones said the murder had changed the community dramatically.

"Before, this was a very quiet road - everybody in the area on Lon Pant knows each other, except probably for Mabel Leyshon," he said.

"We are much more security conscious now. We have had a new burglar system fitted, and we are not the only ones."

Weeks after the murder, a closed circuit television camera was installed in the village, and plans were unveiled to place more around Anglesey.

Rose Evans
Rose Evans considered moving away

Age Concern also issued an appeal to people to keep in touch with elderly neighbours.

A charity spokesman appealed for people to look out for each other, especially if they know of vulnerable residents living alone.

Police praised

One resident, Rose Evans, said she was petrified when she heard the news, and did consider moving away from the town.

"There were a lot of stories going around and you didn't know the truth," she said.

"I don't think anything like this has happened here before, and let's hope it will never happen again."

Community Safety coordinator Maldwyn Roberts
Mr Roberts aimed to reduce the fear of crime
North Wales Police Community Safety coordinator Maldwyn Roberts said the role of his team and the police had been to reduce the fear of crime.

"We were able to give advice and help by telling people what they could do themselves to protect themselves.

Money from the Welsh Assembly also enabled extra security measures to be taken.

"We have had a grant to buy window locks, door chains and alarms that we have been giving out free to members of the public," he added.

"The take-up has been phenomenal.".

See also:

02 Aug 02 | Wales
02 Aug 02 | Wales
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