STUNNED residents were left reeling after a stabbing and a man’s body were found just metres away from their homes.

Police have launched a murder probe after a man was found with a stab wound to his back in Ryegate Road, Colchester, at 8.20am on Monday.

The night before, police were called to George Street at 10pm after a man was stabbed. He was taken to hospital for further treatment.

The roads are just metres away and people living in Maidenburgh Street, which is in between said it was not unusual to see groups of people congregating and shouting, however, they were shocked to see police had launched a murder probe.

One resident said: “I saw him and thought he was a rough sleeper but the way he was sitting there.

“We get a lot of them in the road or in the car park and it isn’t unusual.”

He called for harsher penalties for people convicted of knife crime offences.

He said: “There are far too many stabbings.

“The sentences they get are far too soft – some of them you read about are absolutely ridiculous for possession of a knife.

“Then with murders you hear about people getting life sentences but a minimum of 20 years.

“Call it a minimum if 90 years and make sure anybody with a life sentence never gets out of prison.”

Another resident said she feared one of her neighbours had been taken ill when she saw the ambulance.

She added: “It is absolutely awful and you feel so sorry."

Anyone with information about the George Street stabbing should call Colchester CID on 101 quoting reference 42/22475/19.

Murder information should be given to the North Major Crime team on 101 quoting incident 208.

Details on either incident can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.