LATEST: Hanbury rocked by suspected murder

5:13pm Friday 31st January 2014

By Ian Craig

A SLEEPY village in rural Worcestershire was rocked today following a suspected murder.

Police and paramedics were called to School Road in Hanbury, near Droitwich – thought by many to be the inspiration for BBC Radio 4’s long-running soap opera The Archers – at about 4.35pm yesterday to reports a woman in her 40s had suffered serious stab wounds in a domestic incident.

She was declared dead at the scene and a man in his 20s was arrested shortly after.

A resident in the area, who declined to be named, said the house where the alleged murder had taken place was a rental property.

"People in the road don't really know them,” she said. “It's very sad. It's really shocking.

"Yesterday we could see blue lights flashing from about 4.30pm. That's when the police came.

"At about 8pm the police came and the road was closed. I thought, 'Oh gosh, there has been an accident along there'. "

Another neighbour said the house was owned by a family who live in the Channel Islands and the current residents had only lived there for a year or so.

“We were at a parish council meeting in the church and someone came in and said ‘someone’s been murdered’,” he said.

“This morning we heard that a son had stabbed his mother which sounds really awful.”

Another resident said: “We saw a police car hurtling along the read at about 5pm which was really unusual because we don’t really see police around here.

West Mercia Police commander for South Worcestershire Superintendant Mark Travis said this afternoon: “Following this tragic incident, we continue our investigations in and around the house in School Road, including searches and forensic examinations.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we believe this to be an isolated incident and no-one else is being sought in relation to our investigation.”

School Road is currently closed from Hanbury C of E First School to the junction with Pumphouse Lane.

Head of Hanbury C of E First School Andrew Payne said he had been told little about the incident.

“This is a village community and our thoughts are with the family,” he said.

“We have not been given any further information but the police have reassured us that the school is perfectly safe to open as normal.

“We’ve been reassuring parents that there is no danger to the children.”

Another resident in the area said: "Whether it was a lover’s tiff or a robbery I don’t know.

"The first time we noticed something had happened was when we saw cars coming along our road which is unusual."

The arrested man remaines in police custody and had not yet been charged.

The Worcestershire coroner has been informed.

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