Neighbours in shock after 'quiet, unassuming' widower found murdered in Blackpool home on New Year's Day

Neighbours of an elderly widower who was found ‘slumped in the doorway’ of his Blackpool home have spoken of their shock after two men were arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 4:56 pm

Malcolm Frary, 76, was found dead at his home on Eccleston Road, South Shore, at around 4.35pm on Saturday, January 1.

Police have not revealed his cause of death at this stage, though a neighbour who was questioned by officers said he was informed that he had suffered a serious head injury.

“The first police officer who came round asked me if I had seen anything suspicious, and they said the window had been kicked in, and they found him slumped on the floor with a head injury at the back of the door,” the neighbour, who did not want to be named, said.

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Police on Eccleston Road this morning January 3

On New Year’s Day, a 43-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into custody.

A second Blackpool man, was also arrested on suspicion of murder the following day.

Police remained at the scene this morning, with several houses and part of the footpath being taped off.

Police tape could also be seen covering a broken window in the front door panel of one of the homes.

Eccleston Road this morning, January 3

Mr Frary’s neighbour said: “The police have been here day and night for three days now. On Saturday there must have been seven or eight police cars, and police walking up and down. There have been police in boiler suits going in and out.”

Mr Frary, a former engineer, was a father of four who had lived on Eccleston Road for at least 40 years, according to his neighbours.

One 67-year-old woman who lived on the street said: “He has lived down here for over 40 years. He was a very quiet, unassuming man. He kept himself to himself, especially after his wife died. He enjoyed his model boats.

“When we went out on New Year’s Day, we had seen his door open, and we saw some activity down the street. When we came back we saw the police and Malcolm’s house was taped off.

“We assumed it was a break-in. It was the next day we went to ask if Malcolm was all right, and that was how we were told.

“We’re still in shock. The fact that we were in our homes and he was in such frightening circumstances. What an awful way for his life to end.”

She added: “This was such a family-friendly street, and all our kids played together. One of his lads was particularly close with my own boys. I just can’t wrap my head around it.”

Detectives are appealing for any witnesses who saw any suspicious activity in the area between New Year’s Eve (Friday, December 31) and New Year’s Day (Saturday, January 1).

Det Ch Insp Lee Wilson, of Lancashire police’s major investigation team, said: “My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Mr Frary’s family at this sad and very difficult time.

“A murder investigation has been launched and we are keen to identify as many witnesses as possible.

“While we have made two arrests, we are particularly keen to speak to anyone who can assist our enquiries.

“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the Eccleston Road area between the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, overnight into New Year’s Day? If so, please come forward. Any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could be vital to our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 1276 of January 1.

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