A DOG walker was the person who found the decaying body of a woman dumped in a wheelie bin.

Alex Kirby saw the bin off the Landport estate in Lewes, near where Nicola Stevenson lived.

She had not been seen for a month, and had lived in a flat with murderer Richard Canlin in Stansfield Road.

Mr Kirby saw the bin in the field at 12.30pm on November 13 last year and told police he thought it was “odd it had been left there”.

The Argus:

The bin was found in undergrowth off Landport Road, Lewes

Like other dog walkers he assumed it was left over from the Lewes bonfire celebrations.

He said: “I looked in and saw what looked like bedding. I closed the lid and tried to drag the bin out into the field. It was too heavy for me to budge.”

Mr Kirby pulled away blankets and bedding inside the bin, and said: “I saw what I thought was a large joint of meat that looked like a turkey. I realised I was seeing what looked like body from the waist down.”

The Argus:

Police protected the scene

He said the legs had been folded at the knee, and it appeared the woman had been wedged face down in the bin.

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Nicola’s body looked like it had been there for some time, her skin was pale and yellow.

The Argus:

A wide police cordon was set up

Other dog walkers had seen the bin there in late October and early November, but been unable to move it.

Police launched a murder inquiry, and the next day, The Argus revealed that Nicola Stevenson was the woman killed.

The Argus:

Nicola Stevenson was murdered

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, reported hearing screams behind her home late at night, behind where a police cordon was set up.

She said: “It has been horrendous. We spoke when she first moved here about a year ago.

“We thought she had gone away, and haven’t seen her for four or five weeks.

The Argus:

Neighbours were shocked in Stansfield Road

“A few weeks ago we heard screams in the early hours of the morning, we thought nothing of it, as it might have been people leaving the pubs.”

Another resident in Stansfield Road said: “It is shocking, you never think something like this is going to happen.

“I used to play in the park near where it happened and I went to the old school there when I was younger.

“It is scary that a body was found there, I’ve lived here for my whole life and nothing like this has ever happened before.”

One man, living nearby in Stansfield Road said: "Police have been going up and down the street, asking us about a wheelie bin and about Nicola Stevenson.

The Argus:

Richard Canlin was found guilty of murder

"Where they found the body couldn't be more than 40 yards away from where there was the big bonfire."

One pensioner in the road said: "I have lived in Lewes for my whole life, and in 74 years we have never had anything like this. It is unbelievable, you don't expect anything like that to happen."