Tributes to couple found stabbed to death outside village home on New Year's Day

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Helen Hancock (nee Almey), 39, from Duffield, and Martin Griffiths, 48, from Derby, were found at a property in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, on January 2 (SWNS)

Tributes have been made to a couple who were found stabbed to death outside a property on New Year's Day.

Emergency services were called after Helen Hancock, 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48, were discovered with fatal stab wounds in the early hours of Wednesday in Duffield, Derbyshire.

Paramedics arrived shortly after police were called at 4am but could do nothing to save the pair and they were pronounced dead at the scene

Derbyshire Police said it had referred itself to the police watchdog over previous contact with Mrs Hancock.

Police and forensic specialist teams have set up a blue tent and are still investigating at the four-bedroom detached property (SWNS)
A man has been arrested on suspicion of a double murder after two people were found dead at a property on a quiet village road in the early hours of New Year's Day (SWNS)

Police said a 39-year-old man - the woman’s estranged husband Rhys Hancock - was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, and he remains in police custody.

PE teacher Helen, who had reverted to her maiden name Almey, had previously shared the £400,000 property with Hancock, a headteacher.

Hancock, of Portland Street, Etwall, Derbyshire, is due to appear before magistrates on Friday.

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Helen's family said in a statement: “The family are devastated at the loss of Helen who was a lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person. We would like to thank people for allowing us privacy at this most difficult of times.”

Distraught family members of Martin, who lived in Derby, added: “Martin was a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle, who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals. He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children.

Police forensic officers at the scene where a tent has been erected outside the scene on New Zealand Lane, Duffield (SWNS)

"He will be greatly missed. We would also like to ask that people respect our privacy and allow us space to grieve as we attempt to come to terms with his death.”

The couple's children - aged nine, seven and four - were not believed to have been in the house at the time of the attack.

Derbyshire Constabulary officers and forensic teams remained at the scene on Thursday as they conducted door-to-door enquiries.

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