Man charged with murder following investigation in Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent

Detectives have this evening charged a 31-year-old man with murder following the incident yesterday at Cliveden Road, Abbey Hulton, Stoke on Trent.

Barry Knapper, 31 years old of Cliveden Road, Abbey Hulton will appear before magistrates in the morning.

Whilst the formal identification is still to be completed, detectives believe the victim to be Lisa Reynolds, 30 years old of that address. A cause of death is not yet known and a post mortem examination will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. 

NEWS: Stoke-on-Trent man jailed for sisters murder

A man has been jailed for life after admitting killing his sister.

Gareth Hindmarsh, 35, of Tawney Crescent, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today, Friday 6 November, after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

He received a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 22 and-a-half years.

Gareth Hindmarsh
PHOTO: Gareth Hindmarsh

Emergency services were called to Beckett Avenue, Meir, at around 1pm on Sunday 28 June, following the discovery of Linda Norcup’s body.

Sadly, Linda, aged 46, was pronounced dead at the scene and a murder investigation was launched. Detectives arrested Hindmarsh and he was later charged with Linda’s murder.

The court heard that on Saturday 27 June, Hindmarsh spent the evening drinking with Linda at her home in Beckett Avenue. He admitted that after leaving at around 11.50pm he went home and decided he was going to kill her.

Hindmarsh returned to Linda’s flat and strangled her using a piece of cord he had taken from his home as she slept in bed, he used such force that the cord snapped around her neck. He left the address in Beckett Avenue and returned home, on the way disposing of the cord in a nearby drain.

After a short time Hindmarsh returned to Linda and using plastic bags which he stretched into another ligature he again strangled her. He then moved Linda’s body from the bedroom into the bathroom and left her draped over the bath, he turned the taps on and left the property again to go home. The following lunchtime Hindmarsh returned to Linda’s body and called emergency services claiming to have just found her lifeless.

Hindmarsh was initially arrested on June 28 but, due to insufficient evidence to charge him, he was released on police bail while the investigation and evidence gathering continued. However, on Wednesday 1 July he returned to one of the force’s custody facilities to hand himself in and confessed to Linda’s murder. He was rearrested and subsequently charged with murder.

Linda’s family continue to receive support from specially-trained officers.

Linda Norcup
PHOTO: Linda Norcup

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Giles, who led the inquiry, said: “Hindmarsh callously murdered Linda, his half-sister, in circumstances which would have been difficult to predict and prevent. He is an extremely dangerous man.

“Linda was a vulnerable lady who did not offer any hostility towards Hindmarsh and moreover was incapable of defending herself. Hindmarsh carefully managed every stage; Linda’s murder, her discovery and his admissions to the Police and to the Court.

“He has failed to show any remorse or give a clear explanation as to motive. Linda’s death has devastated the family and I hope a substantial term of imprisonment will give those who loved Linda the opportunity to come to terms with this tragic event.”

Linda’s family said “We have lost, in the most tragic of circumstances, the best mother, grandmother and sister that anyone could possibly have.

“It is of some comfort for us to know that the man responsible for murdering Linda is being punished. We can only hope that he will never be able to inflict such sadness or put any other family through such a horrific ordeal. He has robbed us of a lifetime with Linda.”

Police name man wanted for questioning in connection with attempted murder in Burton

Detectives in Staffordshire are asking the public for help in tracing a man wanted for questioning in connection with an attempted murder following an incident in Burton on Monday evening.

Rehan Akhtar, aged 27, is wanted in connection with the incident, in which a local 49-year-old man was involved in a collision with a car and had sustained very serious injuries. The vehicle left the scene.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, Commander of the East Staffordshire Local Policing Team, said: “We have a number of Wanted appeal Rehan Akhtaractive lines of inquiry to trace Mr Akhtar, but I urge the public to call us with any information which would lead to his arrest.

“This is a fast moving investigation and the three men arrested last night will be questioned through the day by a team of experienced detectives from our Major Investigation Department.

“A detailed forensic examination is also taking place of a vehicle recovered yesterday afternoon in the Burton area and we continue to appeal to anyone with information to get in touch.

“The injured man remains in hospital in a critical, but stable, condition and specially trained family liaison officers continue to offer support to his family.”

Anyone with information about the location of Rehan Akhtar, or if any residents have any concerns, should call Staffordshire Police on 101 or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. All calls will be treated in confidence.

Three men arrested by police investigating attempted murder in Burton

Three men were arrested yesterday by detectives investigating the attempted murder of a man in Shobnall Street on Monday evening and the investigation is progressing quickly.

One man was arrested in Burton-on-Trent yesterday evening (Tues) and two men were later arrested in the Walsall area.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, Commander of the East Staffordshire Local Policing Team, said: “This is a fast moving investigation and the three men arrested last night will be questioned through the day by a team of experienced detectives from our Major Investigation Department. A detailed forensic examination is also taking place of a vehicle recovered yesterday afternoon in the Burton area and we continue to appeal to anyone with information to get in touch.

“The injured man remains in hospital in a critical, but stable, condition and specially trained family liaison officers continue to offer support to his family.”

The attempted murder investigation was launched following an incident at around 10pm on Monday 20 July, when emergency services were called to a report of an injured man in Shobnall Street, Burton.

A local 49-year-old man had been involved in a collision with a car and had sustained very serious injuries. The vehicle left the scene.

The man arrested in Burton in connection with the incident is a 26-year-old from Burton. The two arrested in Walsall are a 37-year-old man from Walsall and a 36-year-old man from Burton.

Chief Inspector Maskrey added: “Whilst the investigation is continuing I urge anyone with information or concerns to get in touch. Our detectives are working around the clock to establish the facts and to gather all the available evidence in order to bring those responsible to justice.

“The local neighbourhood policing team are maintaining a highly visible presence in the area to ensure the community affected are supported and reassured. We will continue with this over the coming days as the investigation progresses and we will be keeping all members of the community informed of any significant developments.”

Anyone with information about this incident, or if any residents have any concerns, should call Staffordshire Police on 101 or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. All calls will be treated in confidence.

Download this update from the local commander Keeping you informed East Staffordshire