Sussex stabbing: Police carry out tests on knife and car believed to have been used in attack that killed Don Lock

Sussex Police are continuing to question a 34-year-old man from Worthing on suspicion of murder

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The Independent Online

Police are carrying out tests on a knife and car believed to have been used in the murder of a great-grandfather who was stabbed to death in a “violent” and “unprovoked” road rage attack.

Donald Lock, 79, was knifed repeatedly on Thursday evening after getting out of his car following a minor accident on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing in West Sussex. One eyewitness said that the attack had been so ferocious he was probably “dead before he hit the ground”.

Sussex Police are continuing to question a 34-year-old man from Worthing on suspicion of murder and said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with Mr Lock’s death. Officers also recovered a knife, which has been sent for forensic examination, and a car.

Mr Lock was driving south on the A24 when he was involved in a minor collision with an “old style” vehicle, police said. In the aftermath of the accident he was fatally stabbed by the other driver, who then got back into his car and drove away. A post mortem confirmed that Mr Lock died as a result of stab wounds.

George Lister, 72, who lives near the scene, said he had heard a commotion and come out of his house to find Mr Lock lying in a pool of blood. “He was in a hell of a state. The man had stab wounds all over both sides of his neck, his shoulders and his back. Basically he had been butchered,” he said.

“This man had lived through the Second World War and everything else in a long life and then he has his life taken away. It is unbelievable. In all honesty, from the injuries I saw he had sustained I think the poor bloke was dead before he hit the ground.”

 

Mr Lister said another witness had managed to film part of the number plate of the suspect’s vehicle and had handed the footage to police. Eighteen hours after the attack, officers chased a man into Worthing Golf Club and arrested him near the second tee after being guided to the spot by a police helicopter.

Mr Lock’s family said he had recently been given the all-clear from cancer and was due to become a great grandfather for the sixth time. The retired lawyer had been married to his wife Maureen for 55 years and was a veteran member of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club as well as holding a season ticket at Brighton and Hove Albion FC.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said Mr Lock had been the victim of a “violent, unprovoked attack that he had no chance to defend himself against”.

He added: “His family are devastated by his murder and are being supported by specialist officers. A significant number of officers are still involved with the investigation as we work to find out exactly what happened. This is a fast-moving operation and we are still looking for anyone with information to contact us.”

Friends paid tribute to Mr Lock, describing him as a “quiet and unassuming guy” who “always had a smile for anyone he met”. His best friend Stuart, who is a member of the same cycling club, said he was “a truly perfect human being”, adding: “He was placid and kind and supported everyone. He was Mr Worthing. The area won’t be the same without him.”

Don-Lock.jpg
Undated handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Don Lock

More than 80 per cent of British drivers have been a victim of some form of road rage, according to a survey published last month. Almost half of the 1,000 people who took part reported being driven at aggressively, but only 5 per cent said they had been physically attacked. Around 4 per cent said their car had been damaged as a result of road rage.

A spokesman for the AA said that serious road rage incidents were still “very, very rare” in the UK. “Bearing in mind the high levels of stress that British drivers experience, it’s actually quite surprising there aren’t more incidents,” he added.