Tyne & Wear

Hexham murder investigation after handbag found

Hexham murder scene
Image caption Police are treating the death as murder

The body of a 77-year-old woman was discovered in her Northumberland home following the find of her handbag in a bin in Newcastle city centre.

Officers investigating what was thought to be a case of lost property or theft called at the house on St Wilfrid's Road, Hexham on Friday evening.

They found Judith Richardson dead in her hallway. She is believed to have suffered a head injury.

Northumbria Police has now begun a murder investigation.

A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Sunday.

Detectives are attempting to establish where she was attacked, and will be looking at CCTV footage from both Hexham and Newcastle.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "I would suggest from the fact the bag was found that the motive could be robbery or burglary.

"We are working tirelessly to establish the exact circumstances and find those responsible."

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