Detectives investigating killing of Lee Pomeroy on Surrey train given extra time to question suspect

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner

Detectives investigating two people connected to the murder of a 51-year-old killed on a train in Surrey on Friday have been given another 12 hours to question the pair.

On Saturday, police officers detained a 35-year-old man on suspicion of murder at an address in the Farnham area.

A 27-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Neighbours were woken up by the sound of the early morning arrest.

“At six they smashed the door down… initially I just heard the banging. Sounded like someone trying to kick the door in…”, neighbour Grant Christy said.

“Then I heard the police shouting, ‘put your hands up, turn around’, all that sort of thing and then it went quiet.

“They led her out first with the kid, barefoot, put her in a police wagon over there, then a few minutes later they pulled him out handcuffed.”

Another resident described the murder suspect as “very moody”.

Scene of the arrests in Farnham. Credit: PA

Lee Pomeroy died at Horsley station after being repeatedly stabbed on Friday as he and his 14-year-old son travelled to London.

His family have condemned the killing as a “horrific and pointless attack”.

  • Read the full family statement below

In a statement released through British Transport Police, Mr Pomeroy’s family said "Lee took his son on a trip to London hoping to spend some quality time with him which was cut short by an horrific and pointless attack.

”Lee would have had his birthday today but did not get to see his presents.

“He was an honest, bright person, who loved music very much. He knew history and art and he was a Bachelor of Science in maths.

”He was a devoted family man and did everything for his family.

“He was an honourable man and would always help somebody who was in trouble.

”He was a loving husband and father. He will be deeply missed by all his family."

A murder investigation is underway at Horsley station. Credit: ITV News

Mr Pomeroy and his son had boarded the train at Guildford London Road station.

The killer, described as a black man in his 20s to 30s, approximately six feet tall and of slim build with a beard, also boarded the service there.

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan told ITV News the pair “engaged in conversation for about three to four minutes”.

This quickly escalated into violence, punches were thrown and Mr Pomeroy was repeatedly stabbed in the neck, police said.

Philip Herrington, the Rector of St Mary’s Church, West Horsley, visited Horsley train station on the afternoon of the attack and the following morning.

“I thought I’d come and bring some flowers because you don’t really expect anything like this to happen generally, not in a place like this, not on a midday train,” Mr Herrington said.

Flowers left at Horsley station in tribute to Lee Pomeroy. Credit: ITV News

“It’s totally lamentable what happened and particularly for the young son to have witnessed what he witnessed.”

Mr Herrington spoke to British Transport Police at the scene of the incident on Friday and offered assistance to passengers.

“British Transport Police officers were pretty shocked at what they’d seen as well", he said.

Assurances have been made to the public that it is safe to use public transport.

“One passenger journey in every million is exposed to violence so that’s really good for people travelling but again at this moment in time people will be seeing more officers on trains – specifically on that route today", said BTP Assistant Chief Constable O'Callaghan.

In a statement, BTP DCI Sam Blackburn said: “This is a fast moving investigation and I am pleased that overnight we were able to arrest a man following a huge amount of police enquiries.

“The investigation is moving with good progress and we are now confident to say that this is not believed to be a random assault. In the moments leading to the violent killing, both men appeared to be involved in an altercation lasting three minutes.

“Nothing justified the extraordinary violence that followed, and we are concentrating our efforts on the on-going investigation.”

There was a heavy police presence at Horsley station on Friday evening. Credit: ITV News

The family are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers and a post mortem examination is scheduled for early next week.

DCI Blackburn added: “We are continuing our appeal for information and I would urge anyone who was on board the train to contact us as soon as possible.

"Even if you did not witness the assault, it is vitally important we speak with you. Likewise, if you have any dashcam footage of the Clandon area after 1pm yesterday afternoon, we would like to hear from you.”