Murder probe launched after elderly couple attacked in their home

·3 min read
Freda Walker, 86, was killed and her husband, Kenneth, 88, left with 'horrific injuries' in shocking incident at their Derbyshire home
Freda Walker, 86, was killed and her husband, Kenneth, 88, left with 'horrific injuries' in shocking incident at their Derbyshire home

A murder investigation has been launched after an 86-year-old woman was killed and her elderly husband, a fomer mayor, was left fighting for his life after being injured at their home in a Derbyshire village.

Freda Walker, 86, was killed and her husband Kenneth, 88, left with “horrific injuries” following an incident in their home in Langwith Junction on Saturday morning.

Derbyshire Police warned residents to lock their doors and windows while officers hunted the killer. No arrests have been made.

Speaking at the murder scene, Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett said: "While I cannot talk about the mechanics of how the injuries happened, what I do urge people to do is to carry out good security in relation to their homes.

“Keep their doors and windows locked and do not let any strangers in. Don't keep any valuables on display. And to have a means of making contact with emergency services if needs be.

“Investigators are looking at the broadest possible range of scenarios alongside other forces to consider whether or not there are any other offences that might be connected to this.”

Police have cordoned off the couple's home, which backs onto several allotments, while an alleyway by the side of the house has also been sealed.

Police at the scene in Mansfield, Derbyshire
Police at the scene in Mansfield, Derbyshire

Mr Walker, the former mayor of Bolsover, Derbyshire, who celebrated his 88th birthday on Thursday, remains in intensive care with life-threatening injuries.

Neighbours described the couple as "devoted to each other”, adding: “This has shocked everyone who knew them."

Another resident said: "We are totally shocked. We didn't hear a thing.

"It is a really quiet area - the odd bit of trouble, especially with living on the main road. But nothing like this. Really sad."

Archive photo of councillor Ken Walker, chairman of Bolsover District Council, and his wife, Freda
Archive photo of councillor Ken Walker, chairman of Bolsover District Council, and his wife, Freda
A police car and cordon outside the couple's home
A police car and cordon outside the couple's home

Chief Superintendent Barnett added: “This is an understandably shocking incident for the community in Langwith Junction and our thoughts are with everyone affected – in particular those family and friends of the man and woman.

“Residents in and around Station Road will see an increased police presence in the coming days and I want to reassure all those in the area that all force resources, as well as regional colleagues from the EMSOU Major Crime team, are working to understand the full circumstances of this incident.

“I would urge anyone who has any information about the incident to contact the force, in confidence, as a matter of urgency."

Chf Supt Barnett added: “This couple were well known here. I know that many people who knew them were shocked by this horrific incident.”

A dog walker, who passes through Station Road every Sunday morning and was a friend of the couple, said: "This is a very quiet area. I was an acquaintance of Kenneth and Freda. They were very nice people.

"Kenneth used to be a local councillor heavily involved in the area.

"They were always a nice couple and ready to speak to you. I spoke to Mrs Walker regularly as I walked the dog through here.

"I just knew them as an inviting and lovely couple. I always used to wave at them as I walked by."

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