NEIGHBOURS have expressed their shock at the death of a man murdered at his caravan park home.

Ronald Mayne died six days in hospital after being found with serious head injuries at his home in Templeton caravan park, in Bakes Lane, West Hanningfield.

Garry Poole, 75, of Stock Road, Billericay, was later charged with the 68-year-old’s murder and appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday.

He has now been remanded in custody until May 14.

An inquest into Ronald’s death was formally opened on Wednesday by coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley-Murray into Mr Mayne’s death.

Meanwhile, at the caravan park, his former neighbours described him as a “friendly chap”.

Dave Meaking, 68, said: “Ronald was a nice guy and whenever I saw him, he would say hello and ask how things were and we would share a joke or two.

“We had recently spoken about popping down to the local pub to have a pint, but sadly that won’t happen now.

“It was not until the following morning that I found out about what had happened and even when I walk past his property now with the police tape still outside, it is all a bit spooky.”

Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said Mr Mayne would spend time helping others out.

He said: “He was a keen gardener and was quite proud of his own.

“When he was out tending to his own garden, he would pop over and ask if I needed anything done and he would get it sorted, whether it was cutting grass or tree pruning.”

Many people living in the park said they were very shocked to see the police arrived following the incident on Thursday, February 27. He died on Wednesday, March 5.

Leonard Thompson, 89, who lived two doors down from Mr Mayne, said: “I did not hear the police turn up overnight but when I woke up and looked outside it obviously came as quite a surprise and I couldn’t believe what had happened.”

A female neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “I have lived here for 24 years and have never seen a police car come into the park, not even for something like a burglary.”