Blackpool murder probe - woman named

A man was arrested today on suspicion of murder following an incident on Links Road North Shore
A man was arrested today on suspicion of murder following an incident on Links Road North Shore
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POLICE have revealed a pensioner found dead in her own home was bludgeoned to death with a garden ornament.

Josephine Gilliard, 74, was hit over the head with the heavy ornament and also suffered multiple stab wounds.

The pensioner – known locally as June – was found at her home on Links Road, North Shore, which she shared with her husband Fred, 75.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday and is currently in hospital.

A post-mortem confirmed Mrs Gilliard died from multiple injuries.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “An examination has taken place and the cause of death has been established as multiple injuries, consistent with being stabbed repeatedly and struck to the head with a heavy object, believed to be a garden ornament.

“The 75-year-old man arrested remains in custody and is being questioned on suspicion of murder.

“Specially trained officers are continuing to support the family and will continue to do so throughout the investigation.”

Police were called to the house at 10am on Sunday, where they found Mrs Gilliard’s body and also recovered a knife from the scene.

It is thought Mr Gilliard had called police.

Det Supt Ian Critchley, of Lancashire Police’s major investigation team, said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the Mrs Gilliard’s death.

He said: “We are carrying out a number of inquiries to establish the sequence of events leading to this lady’s death.”

Neighbours, who witnessed crime scene investigators at the property on Sunday, have spoken of their shock.

They described the Gilliards as “very friendly” and Mrs Gilliard as “a very intelligent lady.”

Michael Maguire, 42, from Cornwall Avenue, North Shore, said: “I can’t believe something like this has happened. I had no idea it would be something like this.”

A Links Road resident, who did not wish to be named, paid tribute to Mrs Gilliard.

She said: “She was 74 and I can’t understand what has happened.

“She was a nice, ordinary lady who always spoke to me when I was passing.”