Man held on suspicion of murder after Derbyshire couple attacked in home

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of an 86-year-old woman and the attempted murder of her 88-year-old husband, who was left with life-threatening injuries after they were attacked in their home.

Freda Walker was found dead at the couple’s home in Langwith Junction, Derbyshire, on Saturday morning by a neighbour. Walker’s husband, Ken, a former district councillor, remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Detectives had been trawling CCTV and conducting house-to-house inquiries to find those responsible, Derbyshire police said. The arrested man remains in police custody.

Assistant chief constable Dave Kirby said: “Today’s arrest is clearly a significant breakthrough in the case but the investigation continues into this most appalling crime.”

Police said a “serious level of violence” was used in the attack, and are considering whether more than one person was responsible. A leading line of inquiry is to establish whether the incident could have been an aggravated burglary.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who was on Station Road between 4.30pm on Friday 14 January and 9am on Saturday 15 January to urgently come forward.

“If you were on that street, either on foot or in a car, then please contact us as soon as possible,” Kirby said.

Ken, who is a member of Shirebrook town council and was previously a councillor on Bolsover district council, is in a critical but stable condition in hospital, police said earlier in the week.

The Bolsover district council leader, Steve Fritchley, said the attack had sent shockwaves through the community: “Ken retired from being a district councillor in 2019 and just when they should both be enjoying their twilight years together, this terrible incident has happened and our thoughts are with Ken and his family,” he said.

“We have heard many people say ‘Oh Ken and Freda, what a lovely couple’, and they really were.”

Anyone who may be able to help detectives with their inquiries is asked to contact Derbyshire police.

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