Farm workers watched as woman was killed

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Two farm workers watched helplessly as a woman had her throat cut in an apparently motiveless attack while walking in the countryside, it was disclosed yesterday.

As the two men ran to help Margaret Wilson, 66, the murderer ran back to his car and drove away. The attack took place close to Mrs Wilson's home in Burton Fleming, near Bridlington, Humberside, on Thursday afternoon. Det Supt Tony Corrigan, leading the investigation, said: "It was a very, very brutal murder. She was a quiet, friendly, unassuming lady who was just walking home."

Her daughter, Heather, who had spent the afternoon with her mother at home, had dropped Mrs Wilson at about 3.30pm several miles outside Burton Fleming so that she could walk back along the country lanes.

She had been walking for only five minutes when a Montego car came along the unclassified road towards her. Two farm labourers ploughing in an adjoining field told police they saw a man get out of the white or silver car and approach Mrs Wilson. The two struggled and fell to the ground.

The farm labourers had recognised Mrs Wilson and ran 400 yards to help, but they were too late.

Mrs Wilson's son's farm is a few hundred yards from where the attack took place. Her husband, Edwin, and son, Alan, were working at the farm when she was assaulted. They were alerted by the farm workers and found her lying in a pool of blood on the grass verge.

Yesterday Mrs Wilson's daughter said: "I know that the crazy person who did this to my mother will do it again to somebody else because there was no motive whatsoever."

"My mother loved going for a walk as she did most days, up by the farm where we were all brought up. She lived for her family and she didn't ask for anything in return."

Det Supt Corrigan said the killing was almost certainly random as Mrs Wilson had not planned to take the walk. There was no obvious motive. No weapon has been found but police believe a knife was used.

The attack has shocked residents of nearby villages who were used to seeing Mrs Wilson, who had lived in Burton Fleming for about 10 years, enjoying the countryside.

Rosalea Wells, clerk to Burton Fleming parish council, said: "She was just a lovely, gentle woman."