Murder arrest after ex-Mayor, 88, and wife, 86, attacked in Derbyshire home

20 January 2022, 11:38 | Updated: 20 January 2022, 13:08

Freda Walker, right, was killed in her home in Derbyshire.
Freda Walker, right, was killed in her home in Derbyshire. Picture: Derbyshire Police

By Sophie Barnett

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering an 86-year-old woman in a "horrific" attack in her home in Derbyshire which also left her 88-year-old husband with critical injuries.

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Freda Walker died at her home in Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, near Bolsover in Derbyshire, on Saturday, while her 88-year-old husband, town councillor Kenneth Walker, was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

Addressing a press conference at the scene on Thursday, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Kirby said a 33-year-old man from Warsop, Nottinghamshire, had been detained in the early hours on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Mr Kirby has previously described the suspected burglary at the couple's home in Station Road as a "horrific" crime.

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He told reporters: "In the early hours of this morning, my officers have arrested a 33-year-old man in Warsop, Nottinghamshire, on suspicion of the murder of Freda Walker and the attempted murder of Ken Walker.

"Freda, of course, aged 86, was killed here on Station Road at Langwith Junction, and Ken, 88, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

"Of course, our thoughts remain with him and friends and family of Ken and Freda.

"This comes after an intense period of investigation and a huge amount of work done by officers and staff of the Derbyshire Constabulary and regional teams working with us."

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He also issued a plea for the public to come forward with any further information that could help the investigation.

"I also ask for anybody who was in this area, on this street, between 4.30pm on Friday January 14 and 9am on Saturday January 15, to please come forward as we'd like to speak to you," he said.

"Yes, we have made an arrest, but of course the investigation carries on, so we're always looking to add to the information that we've got.

"Please don't hesitate, come and speak to us, whether you've seen something or not, in that time on that street."

Since Saturday detectives have been trawling CCTV and conducting house-to-house enquiries to find those responsible in the days since.

Ken remains in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

Anyone who may be able to help detectives with their enquiries is asked to contact Derbyshire police using the reference 240-150122.