Police question man of 20 over car theft murder

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The Independent Online

A man aged 20 was being questioned last night by police investigating the murder of a man who was killed after chasing two car thieves. Detectives are looking for another two suspects.

Kevin Jackson, 31, the father of two young children, was attacked near his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on Sunday, and died after being repeatedly stabbed in the head, probably with a screwdriver.

He had given chase after his wife spotted two men attempting to take her parents' Toyota car. As she telephoned the police, Mr Jackson ran after the suspects. Shortly afterwards, a taxi driver discovered Mr Jackson lying battered and bleeding in the road. He was admitted to hospital but never regained consciousness.

On Thursday his widow, Julie, appealed to he public for help in catching the killers. Within hours of Mrs Jackson's appeal, a number of new witnesses came forward.

The police were given the names of several suspects and arrested a 20-year-old yesterday at 7am when they raided four properties in the Manningham area of Bradford. The suspect was taken to Halifax police station for questioning.

Two other men whom the police had planned to detain at the addresses were missing, and warrants have been issued for their arrest. A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Two people were absent from these addresses, but we know their identities and are tracing their whereabouts."

Officers have been concentrating on known car criminals since Mr Jackson was fatally wounded in the early hours of Sunday morning. A car has been removed, and was being examined by forensic scientists yesterday.

But Superintendent Bob Bridgestock, who is leading the murder inquiry, said: "I want to stress that this murder inquiry is far from over just because we've arrested someone. This is very much just the start of the main focus of the investigation. We are still appealing for people with information to come forward and talk to us.

"This was an horrific attack leaving two children without a father and a wife without her husband."

Mrs Jackson, 33, broke down in tears when she described at the televised appeal how she had broken the news to the couple's elder son, Jake, seven, as they visited her husband in hospital.

She said she told him his father was a hero, and told the press conference that she had lost her "best friend". Mr Jackson's other son, Thomas, is 15 months old.

Yesterday the vicar for the area where the assault took place spoke of the community's shock at the murder. The Rev Tim Wilson, vicar of All Saints' Church, Halifax, said: "I went to see them today to offer my condolences. Mrs Jackson has got her family around her and they are all supporting each other as best they can ... As you can imagine, it is a very distressing time."

He added: "There's a growing sense of frustration at the increasing crime rate in the area. It's largely petty crime until this incident, but this has put everything on a different footing."