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I have edited this article a couple of times to clarify certain points. Thanks to those who emailed with suggestions. A further crucial point is what time the attack took place. In the early stages of researching this case I followed the typical assumption that it happened in the small hours, perhaps between midnight and two or three in the morning. However there is plenty of evidence that Sophie had eaten breakfast, or was in the middle of preparing breakfast, when the attack happened. Everything above also fits with that timing. In many ways, I think the Monday morning timing for the attack, perhaps around 7am or 8am, makes the random attack theory more likely because there would be more people up and about, walking or driving, and in turn it is more likely that Sophie herself would be up and about, perhaps outside the house, at that time of day. If that timing is correct, it adds to the tragedy, because we know her neighbours were up at that time. If only they had heard or seen something more...

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