Tyne & Wear

Family of Judith Richardson in plea to help catch killer

Judith Richardson
Image caption Miss Richardson was a popular figure in the Hexham area

The family of Northumberland murder victim Judith Richardson have appealed to the public to help catch her killer.

In a statement released by Northumbria Police, Miss Richardson's niece, who asked not to be named, described the family's ordeal as "horrific."

The 77-year-old was found battered to death in her Hexham home on 19 August in what police said was a "brutal attack".

Police are hunting convicted sex offender Graeme Jarman over the murder.

Two weeks after Miss Richardson's body was discovered new pictures of her have also been released.

The family statement said: "We are a very private family and we are finding all of this so horrific.

"We thank everyone for all the lovely condolences and good wishes that we have received and sincerely thank everyone who has helped the police in any way.

"We would also like to ask everyone to please keep helping the police with any information to assist them in finding whoever is responsible for Judith's devastating death."

Graeme Jarman, 47, went missing from his home in Consett, County Durham, shortly before Miss Richardson was found dead.

CCTV showed him in the Teesside area, but police now believe he may well have moved out of the North East.

Image caption Graeme Jarman has been described as a "risk to others"

Police forces across the UK have been alerted.

Mr Jarman has been known to alter his appearance and is a frequent gambler, according to police.

Det Ch Supt Neil Adamson said: "We are working with forces across the country to locate this man as we are keen to speak to him in connection to the murder of Judith Richardson.

"We urge anyone to contact Northumbria Police or their local force should they see this man.

"He should not be approached by the public as it is believed he could be a risk to himself and others."

Mr Jarman's mother Irene, 71, earlier urged him to hand himself in to police.

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