Southport landlady and mother asphyxiated

 

A man police want to speak to in connection with the murder of a mother and daughter has been spotted in France.

Avon lady Angela Holgate, 54, and her 75-year-old mother Alice Huyton were found by a relative at Mrs Holgate's home near Southport, Merseyside, on Saturday evening.

Today police said Mrs Holgate's lodger, 51-year-old Barry Morrow, was seen in Calais that same evening after apparently driving there in Mrs Holgate's white Citroen, with the registration PN11 RWK.

He was seen at 7.20pm on Saturday after he caught the ferry.

It is thought he may be travelling to Spain.

Chief Superintendent Nikki Holland, area commander for Sefton, said: "We want him to return to England to speak to us and tell us everything he knows."

Post-mortem examinations carried out during the night confirmed today that both victims died from asphyxiation.

Police sources confirmed that he was "known to the police" and it is also understood that Mr Morrow pleaded guilty last year to assaulting a Southport woman. The victim was neither Mrs Holgate nor her mother.

Mrs Huyton was last seen on Friday evening when she left her home in Southport to visit her daughter.

Divorced Mrs Holgate, the mother of two adult daughters, had been ill and had not been seen out of the house for the previous week.

Mrs Holgate's son-in-law went to the property on Saturday when nothing was heard from the women and the bodies were found.

Police said the two women were found together but would not say where in the house they were found.

They confirmed that the "indication" from the post-mortem was that Mrs Holgate died before her mother, but it has not been established how long before.

It is also understood that Mrs Holgate was not in a romantic relationship with Mr Morrow at the time she died.

Police said they were "keeping an open mind" about the motive behind the killings.

Police said the house did not appear to have been burgled.

Officers were called to the scene at around 5.45pm.

Mrs Huyton was married and her husband, Jim, thought to be in his 80s, was said to be "devastated" at news of the deaths.

Mr Morrow is described as white, 5ft 7in, of medium to stocky build, with straight, short brown hair that is receding, and blue eyes.

Stunned neighbours described Ms Holgate as a "lovely, quiet woman".

She had lived in the house for around 20 years.

Mr Morrow was first seen at the address earlier this year.

He recently re-paved the front garden and driveway.

A neighbour who stopped to compliment him on the work said: "I told him he was doing a good job and he told me he was the lodger.

"He asked me if I needed any jobs doing about the house.

"He was very powerfully built. He could lift the flagstones with one hand. He seemed very affable.

"She was quiet but always said hello.

"I haven't the faintest idea what could have happened. It's very worrying."

Another resident said: "It's a pretty well-to-do area around here so we don't get much police activity at all.

"I saw that there was a man coming and going from the house recently, doing the front garden, but I never knew he lived there.

"Angela and her daughters were always pleasant. She seemed like a lovely woman and they were a lovely family."

PA

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