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'Suicide' man's wife found murdered in Hoghton
A GRANDMOTHER was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, hours after her husband’s body was discovered on a railway line.
Police launched a murder investigation yesterday after the body of Judith Maude, 57, was found at the home she shared with husband Nigel in Charles Crescent, Hoghton.
British Transport Police discovered her body at 8.35pm on Sunday while making enquiries about her husband’s death on the rail tracks earlier in the day.
A post mortem examination yesterday showed the cause of Mrs Maude’s death was ‘multiple stab wounds’, police said.
The body of Mr Maude, 58, was found at 10.55am on the track which crosses Chapel Lane, near to Hoghton Tower, having been hit by a train. His death was not being treated as suspicious, police said.
Mr Maude’s car was abandoned near the scene.
Mr and Mrs Maude leave behind two daughters, Vicki and Michelle, and four grandchildren, three boys and a girl, neighbours said.
They said Michelle, 37, who now lives in Scotland, last saw her parents on Saturday evening after staying with them for a couple of days.
Mrs Maude’s brother, Brian Dixon, of nearby Bournes Row, said that he was too upset to comment.
A statement issued by the family decribed the couple as 'devoted to their family'.
Neighbours told of their shock at the deaths, describing a couple who ‘lived for their grandchildren’ and were always together.
One resident said: “I always saw them together and they were very friendly but they never really went out to social occasions at all.
“They were just nice people who wanted to spend time with their family as much as possible.
“I never heard any disturbances or shouting and Judith seemed happy enough whenever I saw her.
“I never had many dealings with them but whenever I saw them in the street they would say hello and we would have a good catch up.
“It’s not something you would expect to happen in a place like this.”
Another neighbour said: “I just can’t believe that this has happened.
“I feel so sorry for the whole family and the grandchildren in particular.
“They were always round the house and it must be really hard for them.
“The whole street can’t believe that they are dead and I don’t think that many of us got much sleep last night.
“Nobody saw this coming because there were just no signs from them.”
Police cordoned off the house and a forensic team was called to the property yesterday before Mrs Maude’s body was taken to hospital in a private ambulance.
Detective superintendent Paul Withers from the Force Major Investigation Team said: “We are still at the very early stages of our enquiry but at this moment in time we do not believe we are looking for anyone else in connection with the enquiry.
“We now know that the cause of death for the woman is multiple stab wounds.
“The car was recovered in the general location of the train incident.
“Inquiries were made to try and identify that individual and that led us to the address in Charles Crescent.”
Coun Barrie Yates, who represents the Samlesbury and Walton ward on South Ribble Council, said: “They were a very quiet couple.
“I met them as part of my rounds as councillor.
“This is a tragedy.”