Sussex stabbing: Victim Donald Lock had 'recently received all-clear from cancer'

Family described Mr Lock, 79, as 'full of energy' and 'a keen cyclist'

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The Independent Online

A great grandfather stabbed to death in a road rage attack had just received the all-clear from cancer, his family have said.

Donald Lock, 79, was attacked at the roadside after a minor shunt on the A24 in West Sussex and suffered a flurry of savage stab wounds after getting out of his car to speak to the other driver.

Detective Superintendent Adam Hibbert, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, described the attack, which took place on Thursday night, as “frenzied” and said the victim had “no chance to defend himself”.

Mr Lock collapsed to the ground with multiple stab wounds and paramedics, including an air ambulance team, were unable to revive him. He was declared dead at the roadside at Findon, near Worthing.

His family revealed that he had recently celebrated being given the all-clear by doctors treating him for cancer, and his wife, Maureen, said as she visited the spot where he was killed: “He was a wonderful husband for 55 years, and it finishes like this?”

His family, in a statement in which they described him as a keen cyclist and family man who was “hugely loved”, said: “Words cannot describe how much he will be missed.

“Don has been a keen cyclist since the age of 12 and had been an active member of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club since 1960. He was still cycling up to 150 miles per week.

“He still holds the club record for the 24-hour time trial, unbeaten for 44 years. He was full of energy.”

Mr Lock, from Worthing, had two children, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and a sixth on the way. He had recently celebrated his 55th wedding anniversary. His daughter, Sandra, and granddaughter, Kirsty, were among a stream of people who arrived at the scene to lay flowers.

One card said: “Grandad, there are no words to express how I’m feeling. I love you so much. You will be truly missed by so many people. I just wish I could hug you one last time.”

Police arrested a man on suspicion of murder about an hour after issuing a public appeal for information in which Mr Lock’s killer, who drove off after the attack, was described as “extremely dangerous”. A spokesman for Sussex Police later said that detectives were “not looking for anyone else at this time”.

They were, however, still looking for witnesses and are particularly keen to hear from any motorists who might have recorded the accident or fatal confrontation on dashcams.

Before the accident on the A24, Mr Lock had been to a social gathering of Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club which holds a 10-mile time trial every Thursday during summer.

“He turned up and socialised with the rest of the group, and then he went home – and this happened,” said club secretary Adrian Palmer.

“Don was a kind, gentle and fair man and a good friend. He he was the backbone of the club for many, many years. He was also well-respected throughout the cycling fraternity.” John Lucas, a friend for more than 50 years, said: “It’s such a terrible thing.”