Derbyshire: Woman, 86, killed and husband fighting for life after ‘shocking’ attack in village home

Couple was devoted to each other, neighbours say

Katy Clifton
Sunday 16 January 2022 22:16
Police launches investigation after Derbyshire woman killed during home attack

A murder investigation has been launched after an 86-year-old woman was killed and her husband left fighting for his life after a suspected botched burglary in a Derbyshire village.

The elderly couple, named locally as Freda Walker and her husband Kenneth, 88, were attacked in their semi-detached home in Langwith Junction on Saturday. Mrs Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Walker, a local politician who used to represent the Langwith Ward on Shirebrook town council and is the former chairman of Bolsover district council, remains in intensive care with life-threatening injuries. He had celebrated his 88th birthday on Thursday.

Derbyshire Police said there was a “serious level of violence” used against the couple during the attack, which officers were first called to at 9.30am on Saturday.

Local residents have reportedly been told to lock their doors and windows and not let strangers into their homes.

Residents and friends of the couple expressed shock on Sunday, with one saying the married couple was “devoted to each other”.

“This has shocked everyone who knew them,” the neighbour said.

Ken Walker, former chairman of Bolsover district council, and his wife Freda

Speaking to the BBC, Lynne Newham said Mrs Walker had been her closest friend for around 50 years.

Speaking through tears, she said the 86-year-old “was here Friday teatime”, adding: “We had a cup of tea together and a chat and she went home about 5pm.

“I can’t get over it, I can’t shut my eyes. I can’t think how she died. She was a loyal friend.”

Police have cordoned off the couple’s home, which backs onto several allotments. An alleyway by the side of the house has also been sealed off.

No arrests have been made and anyone with information has been urged to come forward.

Chief superintendent Hayley Barnett, said: “This is a horrific incident for the community of Langwith Junction and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of those affected.

“While the investigation is in its early stages, I can confirm this is not being treated as a domestic incident.

“There was also a serious level of violence used in the incident and we are doing all we can to understand the circumstances and find those responsible.

“A team of detectives are working round the clock and I would urge anyone, particularly any drivers with dashcam or homeowners with CCTV that covers the area, to come forwards as a matter of urgency.”

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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