A PENSIONER was set to appear in court today accused of murdering his 74-year-old wife.
Josephine Gilliard was found dead at her home in Links Road, North Shore, on Sunday.
It is alleged she had been stabbed and beaten to death.
Mrs Gilliard’s husband Fredrick, 75, was last night charged with murder and was due to appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court this morning.
In a statement released by the police, the couple’s family said: “As a family we are stunned and devastated by this tragic turn of events involving both of our parents.
“We are an extremely close family and both mum and dad are loving and cherished parents.
“We are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy of the situation.”
Mrs Gilliard, who was known as June, died from multiple injuries after allegedly being stabbed and hit over the head with a garden ornament.
Detectives launched a murder investigation after being called to the couple’s home – close to Blackpool North Shore Golf Club – at around 10am on Sunday, where they discovered Mrs Gilliard’s body.
A post mortem examination established the cause of death as multiple injuries, consistent with being stabbed repeatedly and struck to the head with a heavy object.
Mr Gilliard was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday.
Detectives were given extra time to question him and he was charged last night.
Specially trained police officers are continuing to support the couple’s family, who have asked for privacy during this “difficult time”.
Neighbours paid tribute to Mrs Gilliard, who they described as a “nice, intelligent lady”.