Man pleads not guilty to Crowborough murder

Pam Mills

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old Tunbridge Wells shop manager Fiona Fisher, whose death has sparked a murder investigation.

Thomas Fisher, 22, reportedly her son, was charged with murder after Ms Fisher was found dead inside her Crowborough home on Friday [April 27].

He pleaded not guilty in Hove Crown Court yesterday [Tuesday, May 1] to murder and the additional charges of fraud, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Thomas Fisher will now stand trial from September 17, a process set to take six to eight days. Fiona Fisher was Assistant Manager at L’Occitane, a beauty shop in Royal Victoria Place.

A statement yesterday [Tuesday] from the firm read: ‘We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and previous co-worker, Fiona Fisher.

‘Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this most difficult time.’

Ms Fisher’s family also released a statement: ‘Fiona will be sadly missed by her daughter Megan [who is 20], her mother Dorothy and stepfather Les, as well as her father.

‘There are no words to explain the love those around her felt for her, she is irreplaceable. ‘At this time we would please hope that everyone could respect our privacy and allow her friends and family to grieve.’

Sussex Police arrested Thomas Fisher, of no fixed address, after being called to Lordswell Lane, Crowborough, and said they were ‘not seeking anyone else about the incident’.

Officers went to the five bed Victorian property, said to be worth more than £750,000, around 7.20pm on Friday ‘in response to a welfare check’.

Officers have been at the address over the weekend and set-up a black forensic tent outside the doorway.

Neighbours told reporters they were ‘shocked’ to hear the news and that Ms Fisher was a ‘private person’.

One said: ‘She kept very much to herself. I know she was trying to sell the property for a year, or so. I hadn’t seen her since before Christmas.’

Ms Fisher was said to have parted from her ex-husband Ian, 52, a hedge fund sales director, and had entered into a relationship with another man.

It is understood that her ex-husband runs a company at Dunsfold Park in Surrey offering services to the owners of supercars. The BBC’s Top Gear programme is based at the site. Her Facebook page lists her relationship status, however, as single. She is also listed as a director in a flat management firm.

Ms Fisher had lived in the property, known as Queensbury, since 2000. Lordswell Lane is more than a mile from Crowborough centre and might have proven a harder place to sell a house because of access and parking.

Another neighbour said: ‘This is such a sleepy hollow, we are in a state of disbelief something like this could happen.

‘I didn’t know the woman well, but she was always pleasant and friendly.’

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