Care worker is killed during visit

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The Independent Online

A care worker was stabbed to death during a home visit yesterday.

Philip Ellison, 47, received multiple stab wounds during the visit to a house on Glebe Close in Fulwood, Preston.

A 51-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. Police said he was in an "agitated state" when they arrived at the property at around 11.30am today.

Mr Ellison, of Leyland Road, Penwortham, Preston, was married with three sons and was a social worker in adult care for Lancashire County Council.

Detective Superintendent Steve Brunskill of Lancashire Police said: "This was a tragic incident and my condolences go to the family.

"A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently detained at Preston Police Station.

"We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident, which was confined to the address at Glebe Close.

"A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on the deceased tomorrow morning which will establish the cause of death, although I can confirm that Mr Ellison had received a number of stab wounds."

The killing was in a two-storey house on a cul-de-sac, part of a small estate of newly-built housing association properties.

A number of the houses, according to neighbours, are kept by the local authority for people who need care while living in the community.

Neighbours said there had never been any trouble before and spoke of their shock.

Father-of-two Mark Rigby, 38, was at home on his computer when he saw police at the property.

He said: "I saw one of the ladies who lives nearby coming away from the house. I turned away and the next thing I saw was three police cars and vans, and officers running around.

"One police officer came running out of the house and got a medical kit out of the car and rushed back in.

"An ambulance came and the police were saying, 'Come on! Come in!' to rush them along.

"Whether he was still alive at that time, I don't know. Two police officers took a bald-headed chap out of the house in handcuffs and put him in the van. There was no struggle.

"The next thing, blue police tape went up around the house."

Chris Cheetham, Lancashire County Councillor and cabinet member, Adult and Community Services, said: "It is with sadness we can confirm that one of our social care workers has died.

"This is a tragic incident. My first thoughts are for his family and friends. On behalf of the authority I would like to offer our sincere condolences. It is a dreadful loss."

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the member of staff concerned.

"We will work with Lancashire County Council to investigate all the circumstances and at this time it would not be appropriate to comment further."

The murder suspect will be interviewed tomorrow, police said.