Community in shock as pensioner killed and husband critically injured in attack

·3-min read

The murder of an 86-year-old woman in an attack in which her husband was critically injured has left the entire community in shock, a council leader has said.

Derbyshire Police said a serious level of violence had been used in the “horrific” incident, which led to the death of Freda Walker.

Mrs Walker’s husband, Ken, aged 88, was found with life-threatening injuries after paramedics were called to the couple’s home in Station Road, Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, near Bolsover, early on Saturday.

Langwith Junction
An image of the scene posted on social media by Derbyshire Police

The leader of Bolsover District Council, Steve Fritchley, said Mr Walker, a former district councillor and honorary alderman, was in a critical condition in hospital. His wife was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cllr Fritchley, who represents the Langwith ward, said: “This is shocking news.

“It is terrible when something like this happens, but it really hits home when it happens on your doorstep and to someone you know.

“It’s very upsetting and I was quite angry over the weekend.

“Ken and Freda were in their own home, a place where everyone deserves to be and feel safe, only to be attacked and ultimately bringing Freda’s life to a premature end.

“We have heard many people say ‘oh Ken and Freda, what a lovely couple’ and they really were. This has sent shockwaves through the local community.”

Cllr Fritchley added: “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. He always wanted to help people, do his best for the local community and he admirably represented the authority as chair for 10 years, promoting the council and district to whoever he could.

“Freda was lovely. Always wanting to help people, always had the time of day to say ‘hello’ and speak to them as they walked past. She will be sorely missed by her family, friends and the local 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.”

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

The Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, said: “This is a horrific incident for the community of Langwith Junction and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of those affected.

“While the investigation is in its early stages, I can confirm this is not being treated as a domestic incident.

“There was also a serious level of violence used in the incident and we are doing all we can to understand the circumstances and find those responsible.

“A team of detectives are working round the clock and I would urge anyone, particularly any drivers with dashcam or homeowners with CCTV that covers the area, to come forward as a matter of urgency.”

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