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House of horror


A man died in hospital on Wednesday, two days after being found at his Collingham home with horrendous injuries.

The police are treating the case as murder.

As the Advertiser went to press yesterday, they were questioning two 21-year-old men.

Paramedics called the police to a shabby bungalow on Station Road, Collingham, just after 10am on Monday, after Mr Chris Johnson (26) was found unconscious and bleeding heavily from head wounds.

It is believed that he was attacked only a short time before he was found.

Mr Johnson was taken to Lincoln County Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition until 7.20pm on Wednesday night, when his family agreed that his life support machine should be turned off.

His relatives, also from Collingham, had been at his bedside since Monday.

His aunt is a former Newark town councillor, Mrs Bridget Cook.

A police cordon remains in place around the property, Pentire, where Mr Johnson lived with his girlfriend, Nicola Shaw, for around three years.

Door-to-door inquiries have been carried out in the area and white-suited forensic teams were at the address throughout Monday night.

Pentire, with its green walls, had its garage door open displaying electrical appliances, including a large television, and several filled plastic bags.

A dark blue Ford Fiesta was parked on the potholed drive.

Station Road is usually a quiet street, where a large proportion of residents are elderly.

Neighbours reacted with horror.

One, a woman in her late fifties, said: “The people who live there keep themselves to themselves.

“It was a real shock to see all those policemen here. We never have any trouble.”

Nicola Shaw is 51/2-months’ pregnant with Mr Johnson’s child.

A police spokesman said six locations had been searched in connection with their inquiry.

Yesterday, officers were still at two addresses after raids early on Tuesday.

Tape sealed off a home on Philip Road, on the Hawtonville Estate, Newark.

In the quiet cul-de-sac of Maythorne Close, Balderton, number 17’s white uPVC front door was hanging from its hinges after a 1am raid.

Police incident tape was across the gate, and the curtains were drawn.

A neighbour said: “It is terrifying to be woken up by the noise of a door being smashed in. The police were there all night.”

A Home Office pathologist was due to carry out a post-mortem yesterday.

Police are refusing to confirm suggestions that Mr Johnson was found bound.

The Newark and Sherwood police chief, Chief Inspector Mark Holland, said: “We have received a positive response from members of the public who have come forward with information.

“We would still like to speak to any witnesses or anybody who was on Station Road on Monday morning, who may hold important information that may assist the investigation.”

Collingham councillors and community representatives have been informed and are being regularly updated by the police.

Increased patrols are in place in Collingham and the opening hours of the police contact point on High Street have been extended to allow people to speak to the Safer Neighbourhood team.

Anyone with information should call Newark Police on 01636 605999 or Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Latest news last updated 08/02/2008 10.04am

Last night, the family of Christopher Johnson, who died 48 hours after being assaulted in Collingham on Monday, spoke of their loss.

Mr Johnson was 26-years-old and lived with his fiancée Nicola Shaw in Station Road, Collingham,

Miss Shaw is expecting their first child on 29 June, which would have been the couple’s eight and a half year anniversary of being together.

Mr Johnson was the only son of Dawn and Alan Johnson and a brother to three sisters, Mrs Kelly Wilson (29) Miss Jodie Johnson (22) and Lorah Johnson (18). He also had two nieces, the daughters of Mrs Wilson, Brooklyn (10) and Faith (3).

Mr Johnson was a former student of Newark High School, who enjoyed spending time with his family, socialising and going on holidays.

He had lived in Newark all his life until moving to the village of Collingham 11 years ago.

Speaking about Chris, the family said: “We are shattered and devastated but proud of his heart of gold.

"He always helped others and made people laugh. Chris was the life and soul of the party and was always there when you needed him. We are proud to call him our son and brother. He had a lot of friends and was well known in the village and will be sadly missed.”

Miss Shaw (24) said: “Chris was very much looking forward to becoming a dad and was really excited about the scan next week when I will find out the sex of the baby. He was my best friend, my soul mate and the love of my life.”

Relatives and friends were with Mr Johnson at the hospital since the assault took place on Monday morning. His family were at his bedside when he passed away on Wednesday evening.

The family say they have been overwhelmed with messages of condolence and would like to thank everyone for their support.

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