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Schoolboy 'killed man to save mother'

Police who arrested a schoolboy on suspicion of murder after he defended his mother by killing a knife-wielding neighbour have dismissed talk of a long-running feud between the two families.

The motive for the initial attack on 53-year-old Sandra Crawford by her neighbour Jonathan London, 46, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is unknown. Ms Crawford's 18-year-old son James Killen, had come downstairs on Friday and found his mother covered in blood. He wrested the knife from her attacker, who suffered multiple stab wounds.

Detectives arrested Mr Killen, an A-level student, on suspicion of murder, then released him on bail until June.

London, who is thought to live with his parents in the next-door house, is understood to have have been on medication for epilepsy.

Mr Killen's friend Ben Riddell, 18, said: "It was a freak tragedy and James was a hero for getting his mum's attacker off her."

Ms Crawford, an air hostess, remained in a critical condition last night in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.