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Tests reveal woman stabbed before house explosion

The scene of the murder in Riddings near Alfreton. Credit: ITV News Central

A post-mortem examination has revealed a woman whose body was found following a house fire in Derbyshire died as a result of stab wounds

Two bodies, believed to be Shelley Saxton-Cooper, 45, and Simon Saxton-Cooper, 50, were discovered after emergency services were called to a house on Valley View Road in Riddings, Alfreton on Sunday, September 20.

A Home Office pathologist carried out post mortem examinations on their bodies and determined that Ms Saxton-Cooper died as a result of stab wounds and Mr Saxton-Cooper died from smoke inhalation.

Police say they are treating the incident as suspicious and Mrs Saxton-Cooper's death as murder.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and the police and fire service are conducting an ongoing investigation.

A report is being compiled for the coroner who will hold an inquest into the deaths at a future date.

– Derbyshire Constabulary

Forensic teams have been back at the property as part of the murder investigation.

Police treating woman's death in explosion as murder

Police investigating the deaths of two people in Derbyshire have announced they are treating one of the deaths as murder.

The explosion happened yesterday morning Credit: ITV News Central

Officers say they believe the man and woman who died in an explosion in Riddings near Alfreton are Simon and Shelley Saxton-Cooper.

Chief Superintendent Sunita Gamblin said the force believed 45-year-old Shelley Saxton-Cooper was wounded before the fire, and so are treating her death as murder.

We’re still unable to say how either she or her husband died as post mortem examinations haven’t been completed.

Police, crime scene investigators and fire investigation specialists are working through the scene of the fire to find out exactly how it started and what happened.

We don’t believe, at this time, that anyone else is involved.

– Chief Superintendent Sunita Gamblin, Derbyshire Police


Police re-appeal for information about rape in Darley Abbey

Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Officers are re-appealing for information about a rape in Darley Abbey, two weeks since the attack happened.

An 18-year-old woman was assaulted near a footpath, close to the nature reserve area off South Avenue, at around 17.40 on Monday, September 7.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cox says:

This was a serious attack on a lone woman in broad daylight. It’s very unusual and there could be people out there who have information but have yet to come forward.

– Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cox, Derbyshire Police

Police want to speak to anyone who was in the nature reserve area, or on South Avenue, between 10:00 and 19:00.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who saw a man who is described as being white, about 6ft tall and of stocky build. He’s thought to be in his late 20s or early 30s and was wearing a black hoody with a white zip, dark trousers that were possibly combats. He could have been wearing sunglasses. He was carrying a drink can.

Arsonists destroy equipment at children's play area

Credit: Derbyshire Police

Police say arsonists have caused significant damage to a wooden pirate ship at a children’s play area in Markeaton Park.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday September 19, someone set fire to the structure, totally destroying it.

Sergeant Mark Preston said:

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the pirate ship and we are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

The structure is unsafe and is cordoned off so I would ask people to stay away from it for their own safety.

– Sergeant Mark Preston, Derbyshire Police

Anyone with information should ring 101.

Investigators on scene of Derbyshire explosion

Forensic officers search the scene for clues on the cause of the explosion Credit: ITV News Central

Forensic officers with dogs are on the scene of an explosion in Alfreton where two people died.

The emergency services were called to Riddings early on Sunday morning.

Dogs are helping investigators Credit: ITV News Central
Tributes have been paid to the couple, named locally as Shelley and Simon Saxton-Cooper Credit: ITV News Central
Emotional tributes to the couple Credit: ITV News Central


Investigations at house explosion which killed two people

Credit: ITV News Central

Investigations are continuing after two people were killed when a house exploded in Derbyshire at the weekend. It happened in the Riddings area of Alfreton yesterday morning. The bodies of a man and woman were found inside.

The pair were named locally as Shelley and Simon Saxton-Cooper.

Police say they still cannot confirm what caused the blast, but it is believed to have been a gas explosion.

Couple in exploded house found dead, police say

A couple who were in a house which exploded and then caught fire in Derbyshire this morning are dead, police say.

The pair - named locally as Shelley and Simon Saxton-Cooper - have been found dead at the house on Valley View Road in the Riddings area of Alfreton. Their families have been told.

Police say they still cannot confirm what caused the blast, but it is believed to have been a gas explosion.

The house on Valley View Road Credit: ITV News Central

“This is an awful tragedy. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the two people who have lost their lives.”

– Chief Inspector Steve Pont, from Derbyshire Constabulary
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