Duffield stabbings: Man charged with double murder as couple named

Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths were found stabbed to death on New Year’s Day

Police launch murder investigation after two people found dead in Derbyshire

A man has been charged with murdering his estranged wife and a father-of-two in a Derbyshire village on New Year’s Day.

Rhys Hancock, 39, is accused of stabbing Helen Hancock, also 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48, to death at a house in Duffield.

The victims were pronounced dead at the scene in New Zealand Lane after police were called at 4.11am.

Mr Hancock, of Portland Street, Etwall, Derbyshire, will appear before magistrates in Derby on Friday.

The families of Mr Griffiths and Mrs Hancock, whose maiden name was Almey, paid tribute to the mother-of-three in statements issued through Derbyshire Police.

Ms Hancock’s family said: “The family are devastated at the loss of Helen, who was a lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person.”

Mr Griffiths’s family said: “Martin was a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle, who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals.

“He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children. He will be greatly missed.”

Both families have asked for privacy and are being supported by specialist officers.

Derbyshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) due to contact between Mrs Hancock and its officers before the incident.

An IOPC spokeswoman said: “We are investigating the circumstances of police contact with Helen Hancock prior to her death in Duffield on January 1.

“Our investigation follows a mandatory referral from Derbyshire Police.

“Due to the separate ongoing murder investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Police remained at the address on Thursday, carrying out searches and door-to-door inquiries.

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, of Derbyshire Police, said: “The thoughts of everyone at Derbyshire Constabulary are with the family and friends of Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths.

“Our thoughts are also with the Duffield community, which is understandably shocked by this incident.

“You will see officers in the area throughout today as the investigation continues and I would urge you to speak to them about any concerns you may have.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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