Fears two attacks on elderly couples could be linked after 86-year-old is killed in her home

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Freda Walker died in the attack while her husband Ken was seriously injured - Bolsover District Council/PA Wire
Freda Walker died in the attack while her husband Ken was seriously injured - Bolsover District Council/PA Wire

An attack in which an 86-year-old woman was killed and her husband left for dead at their home could be linked to the "vicious" burglary of an elderly couple earlier this month, it has emerged.

Police are "keeping an open mind" on whether the attack that led to the death of Freda Walker and left her husband Ken, 88, fighting for his life in hospital could be linked to a violent burglary in a neighbouring county.

No arrests have been made for either the attack on the Walkers at their home in Langwith Junction, Derbyshire, on Saturday or the January 6 attack on a couple in their 80s at their home in Trowell, Nottinghamshire.

Flowers outside the scene of the attack on Freda Walker her husband Ken - SWNS
Flowers outside the scene of the attack on Freda Walker her husband Ken - SWNS

Derbyshire Constabulary said a serious level of violence had been used in the "horrific" incident and the perpetrator was still on the run.

Both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire police said they were keeping an open mind about whether the incident could be linked to an attack in Trowell, where the intruder is reported to have demanded money before leaving the woman with cuts to her head, swelling to her arm and a possible broken jaw. Her husband suffered cuts to his face and arms.

Increased police presence in the coming days

Asked about possible links, Derbyshire police said they were "speaking to other forces in the region to look at any other similar incidents that there may have been, but no formal links have been made".

Detective Inspector Nicholas Hall, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the force was "liaising closely" with Derbyshire but there was currently "no evidence to suggest" the two attacks were connected.

Steve Fritchley, the leader of Bolsover District Council, said the attack on the Walkers had sent "shockwaves" through the community.

"We have heard many people say: 'Ken and Freda, what a lovely couple,' and they really were," he said. "I worked alongside Ken for many years on both the district and town council. Ken's dedication and service to the public was an example to all.

"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. Our thoughts are with Ken and his family."

Mr Walker, an honorary alderman, remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Assistant Chief Constable David Kirby said there would be "an increased police presence in the area, and high visibility patrols will continue in the coming days".

Derbyshire Constabulary said officers were continuing to work on a number of lines of inquiry in the search for those responsible.

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