Tyne & Wear

Arrests over murder of Hexham woman Judith Richardson

Judith Richardson
Image caption Judith Richardson had suffered a "brutal attack"

Two people from near Hexham have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 77-year-old Northumberland woman.

Officers had called at Judith Richardson's home in St Wilfrid's Road, Hexham, on Friday, after her handbag was found in Newcastle city centre.

They found the body of the pensioner, who had been the victim of what was described as "a brutal attack".

Northumbria Police said they have bailed the woman, but the man is still being questioned in custody.

Officers discovered the body of Miss Richardson in the hallway of her stone-built terraced home after her handbag and some of its contents were found stuffed into a litter bin, 25 miles away in Newcastle city centre.

Specialist dogs have now been brought in to help trace any evidence that may further help with the investigation.

Det Ch Insp Paul Young said: "We have arrested a man and a woman in the Hexham area on suspicion of murder and they are both helping police with inquiries.

'Innocent lady'

"We are still keen to establish how a bag believed to have been taken from Miss Richardson's property was found in a bin outside a charity shop on Clayton Street, Newcastle, on Friday afternoon.

"Anyone who used any public transport from Hexham to Newcastle on Friday and may have seen anything suspicious, please do contact us.

"We do now believe the bag may have been left there between 1pm and 4.30pm.

"This has been a brutal attack on an innocent elderly lady, who was dearly loved by her family and well-known in the Hexham community."

The family of Miss Richardson said in a statement: "This has been a devastating loss and we are all in a state of shock.

"Judith was a wonderful person and we all loved her dearly."

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