Wife 'stabbed to death' before Derbyshire house fire

A woman found dead with her husband after an explosion at their home in Derbyshire was murdered, police said.

Police say Shelley Saxton-Cooper, 45, was wounded before the house was destroyed by an explosion.

Husband Simon Saxton-Cooper, 50, was also found dead by emergency services after the explosion. Police are not seeking any suspects.

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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.

Suspected gas blast house explosion 'treated as suspicious'

Officers from Derbyshire Police say that the cause of an explosion and fire which killed husband and wife Simon and Shelley Saxton-Cooper in Derbyshire is being treated as suspicious.

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
Suspected gas blast house explosion 'treated as suspicious'. Credit: ITV News Central

Officers said they believe Ms Saxton-Cooper, 45, was wounded before the explosion and are treating her death as murder. Forensic teams are working establish the cause of the explosion and fire at the house in Valley View Road, Riddings, on Sunday morning.

A Home Office pathologist will be carrying out post mortem examinations on the bodies to determine the cause of their deaths, police said.

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Couple killed in house explosion were husband and wife

Fire crews at the scene of the deadly blaze in Riddings. Credit: PA

A couple killed in an explosion and house fire in Derbyshire were a husband and wife.

They have been named locally as 50-year-old Simon Saxton-Cooper and his wife Shelley, 45.

Fire crews found two bodies in an upstairs bedroom after initially being prevented from entering the couple's home in Riddings, near Alfreton, by the dangerous state of the building.

Police are not treating the blaze as suspicious and are attempting to establish whether an explosion or fire reduced parts of the house to rubble.

Police: 'Thoughts with families' after suspected gas blast

Chief Inspector Steve Pont. Credit: PA

As fire crews used an aerial platform to examine the severely damaged roof of the house that exploded in a suspected gas blast, police said a "difficult job" lies ahead.

The fire service attended and found the house ablaze. They extinguished the flames and then found that the house was not safe enough to enter.

We've been able to make the house safe and search the property and I can confirm that unfortunately there are two bodies.

We have got a difficult job ahead of us now. While we are doing that we are all thinking about the families. There is substantial damage to the house. We can't say at the moment whether that's due to an explosion or the fire.

– Chief Inspector Steve Pont

A fire was reported at 7.30am.

Police: Gas blast deaths 'not being treated as suspicious'

Police have said that the deaths of two people in a fierce house fire after a suspected gas blast are not being treated as suspicious.

Police: Gas blast deaths 'not being treated as suspicious'. Credit: PA

Officers from Derbyshire Constabulary said the bodies of both victims were found in an upstairs bedroom at the property in Riddings, near Alfreton. Chief Inspector Steve Pont said the bodies had yet to be formally identified but were believed to be those of a couple who lived at the address.

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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

Fire crews 'prioritising' making structure safe for search

Emergency crews at the scene in Riddings near Alfreton in Derbyshire. Credit: ITV News Central

Firefighters in Derbyshire are prioritising getting the structure of home badly damaged in a fire safe so they can go inside and conduct a thorough search.

It is feared that people may have been caught inside the property which has partially collapsed after a house fire and possible gas explosion.

Incident commander David Lovett told the BBC: "At the moment we have dealt with the fire situation and that is under control, we have evacuated a neighbouring property and we are working with some specialists now to try to ensure that the structure is safe so that we can do a full and thorough search of it.

"When we received the initial call there were some suggestion that there may be possibly people inside, so we are treating it as a search at the moment.

Police and ambulance crews are also at the scene and the street has been cordoned off.

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