York & North Yorkshire

Skipton Aldi stabbing: Tributes paid to Jodie Willsher

Jodie Willsher Image copyright Jodie Willsher/Facebook
Image caption The woman has been named in tributes as 30-year-old Jodie Willsher

Tributes have been paid to a woman stabbed to death in an Aldi supermarket.

Mum-of-one Jodie Willsher, 30, was attacked as she worked in the store in Skipton, North Yorkshire, at 15:30 GMT on Thursday.

Customers and colleagues pinned down the attacker before police arrived. A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Friends said she was a "bubbly, lovely" girl who would be missed.

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A former school friend of Mrs Willsher, Kelly Blagden, 30, said they were both pregnant at the same time when her friend was expecting her daughter, Megan, now four, with husband Mal.

She said Mrs Willsher had worked at the shop since it opened two years ago.

Mrs Blagden added: "She's a lovely girl, she was so in love, they were just the perfect relationship, they were so in love with each other and I just can't believe it really.

"We don't even know who did it. Nobody has said who it is."

Image caption Flowers have been left outside the Aldi store in Keighley Road

Mrs Willsher studied theatrical and media make-up at Craven College in Skipton in 2004/5.

A statement from the college said: "Our thoughts are with Jodie's family and friends at this tragic time."

Image copyright Ben Lack
Image caption Forensic investigations are being carried out at the supermarket

An Aldi customer said she had seen Mrs Willsher earlier that day wearing a Christmas jumper at work.

Flowers have been left in the supermarket car park and two friends of the woman, pushing small children in buggies, described their friend as "a truly lovely woman and very popular".

People left tributes on a community Facebook page, saying "she was such a happy, friendly person".

One wrote: "Horrendous, so tragic for her family and for those who witnessed this barbaric act."


At the scene: Olivia Richwald, BBC Look North

Image copyright PA
Image caption Tributes have been left at the scene by friends

The store and its car park remain cordoned off by police. Two officers are guarding the entrance but there isn't much police activity to be seen through the brightly-lit supermarket windows.

Trolleys full of shopping can be seen in the aisles and food at the checkouts.

Christmas shoppers unaware of what happened here yesterday are still arriving. No-one is saying when the shop will reopen.

Among the tributes left in the car park, one says: "In our thoughts, from all of us at Tesco in Skipton."

Another says: "To our dear beautiful sweet friend, we are all broken. Sorry we never got our girls' night, here's a glass to you."


Shoppers had described how they were left terrified when the attack happened at the store in Keighley Road, with witness saying everyone "screamed and ran up and down".

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "The suspect was initially detained by brave members of staff and public, before he was arrested by officers who were quickly on scene.

"He was taken into custody on suspicion of attempted murder, but it has now turned into a murder investigation despite the efforts of medics to save the victim."

The force said the attack was not terror-related or believed to be a hate crime.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The supermarket remains closed and cordoned off
Image copyright Ben Lack
Image caption Shopping was seen abandoned in the supermarket

In a statement released on Friday, Aldi said the store would be closed until further notice to allow police to carry out investigations.

A spokesman said: "We are working with the police following an incident at our Skipton store."

Mayor Andy Rankine said the town was in shock over the death.

Mr Rankine said: "Skipton is a small but close-knit community where most people know each other.

"We are in shock about the sad events of yesterday where a store worker was murdered whilst going about her duties."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Aldi said the store would remain closed until further notice

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