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NINE die in string of domestic killings as Britain enters second week of quarantine

Nine people have died in a string of domestic killings as Britain enters its second week under the coronavirus quarantine.

The bodies of four people and a dead dog were found at a house in Sussex after a man was charged with killing his wife in South Wales.

An NHS nurse was also stabbed to death in the street in South Yorkshire and three died in a murder-suicide in Hertfordshire.

The deaths come on the seventh day of Britain’s unprecedented lockdown to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Mother-of-three Victoria Woodhall, 31, was stabbed multiple times yesterday evening outside her home in the village of Middlecliffe, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Detectives are investigating the deaths of a father, his wife and their daughter at a house in Hemel Hempstead

Detectives are investigating the deaths of a father, his wife and their daughter at a house in Hemel Hempstead

Anthony Williams (left), 69, is accused of killing wife Ruth (right), 67, at their semi-detached home where they had been self isolating

Anthony Williams (left), 69, is accused of killing wife Ruth (right), 67, at their semi-detached home where they had been self isolating

Two adults and two children were found dead on Sunday evening at a house in Woodmancote, Sussex.

Police found the bodies – believed to be from the same family – and the dog after responding to a report of concern for the occupants.

A spokesman confirmed the force launched a murder inquiry after the grim discovery at around 6.45pm on Sunday.

Women’s aid say more resources are needed amid the coronavirus lockdown as domestic abuse cases surge

Northern Ireland’s main domestic violence charity has called for more resources as it braces itself for a surge in the number of cases due to coronavirus.

Women’s Aid urged a ‘guaranteed commitment’ from Stormont’ ministers following restrictions imposed on movement and official encouragement to stay at home.

Police are also geared up for more cases of domestic violence as homes are put under strain by extended periods of self-isolation, a senior commander said.

A Women’s Aid statement said: ‘We need resources and a guaranteed commitment across the whole of the UK to support all victims of domestic violence and abuse.

‘We are in uncharted territory and all domestic violence charities are bracing themselves for a marked increase in numbers of people coming forward.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said victims who are isolated with their abusers during the lockdown sparked by Covid-19 will not be forgotten.

According to Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statistics, while overall crime has decreased, domestic abuse incidents and crimes with a domestic abuse motivation have increased.

In 2019 there were 31,705 incidents, a rise of 399 (1.3%) on the previous year and one of the highest recorded since 2004.

The number of crimes reached 18,033, an increase of 2,322 (14.8%).

There were 17 domestic abuse incidents and 10 domestic abuse crimes per 1,000 population.

Five of the 11 policing districts showed an increase in incidents and all districts had higher levels of crimes.

It comes after NHS nurse Victoria Woodhall was stabbed outside her home in Middlecliffe and Anthony Williams was accused of killing his wife Ruth, 67.

A husband, his wife and their daughter died in a suspected double-murder-suicide during a house fire in Hemel Hempstead.

Today Williams, 69, from Brynglas, Cwmbran, South Wales, appeared in court accused of murdering his ‘lovely’ wife during self-isolation.

He was arrested after police found his wife Ruth, a former school dinner lady, ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ at their property. 

The mother-of-one, from Cwmbran, South Wales, died later in hospital of suspected head injuries. 

The couple had been married for 45 years and neighbours said they appeared to be ‘devoted’ to each other. 

Williams appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court this morning for a two-minute hearing in which he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address. 

He was remanded in custody by District Judge Stephen Harmes and is due to appear at Cardiff Crown Court tomorrow.

Former ASDA supermarket worker Ruth was found unconscious shortly before 7am on Saturday morning.

It is understood she received her injures several hours before the 999 call was made from the couple’s £160,000 semi on the Brynglas Estate, Cwmbran.

The retired couple had a daughter Emma who was said to be ‘devastated’ by the tragedy.

More than 100 tributes were paid to the Ruth describing her as a ‘lovely and kind’  mother.

A neighbour said: ‘She was a smart and attractive woman with a great sense of humour.

‘She always had a smile and a little twinkle in her eye – it’s such a shock that she had gone.

‘She and her husband seemed to be devoted to each other, there was nothing to say this was going to happen.

‘But people are getting stressed over being locked up together at the moment, I hope that’s not what’s happened with Ruth.’

The tragedy happened in one of the UK’s worst coronavirus areas outside London with 514 confirmed cases. 

Ms Williams (pictured) was found 'unconscious and unresponsive' at the property and died later in hospital of suspected head injuries

Ms Williams (pictured) was found ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ at the property and died later in hospital of suspected head injuries

The couple had been self isolating at their home in Brynglas, Cwmbran, South Wales

The couple had been self isolating at their home in Brynglas, Cwmbran, South Wales

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: ‘Gwent Police received a call to an address in Brynglas, Cwmbran at around 6.50am on Saturday 28 March.

’67-year-old Ruth Williams was found unconscious and unresponsive at the premises. She was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where she sadly died.

‘A 69-year-old man was arrested, he’s since been charged with murder.’

In South Yorkshire, NHS nurse and mother-of-three Woodhall, 31, was stabbed multiple times yesterday night outside her home in the village of Middlecliffe.

Her husband Craig Woodhall, a former soldier, fled the scene with the couple’s two sons and daughter before he was later arrested by armed police.

The children were unharmed.

The fork lift truck driver, 40, who married Mrs Woodhall seven months ago, is currently in custody to be questioned about the killing.

Forensic teams arrive to the scene of a murder after mother-of-three Victoria Woodhall, 31, was stabbed multiple times outside her home in the village of Middlecliffe, near Barnsley

Forensic teams arrive to the scene of a murder after mother-of-three Victoria Woodhall, 31, was stabbed multiple times outside her home in the village of Middlecliffe, near Barnsley

The NHS nurse Police, who worked at Rotherham General Hospital, was pronounced dead at the scene

The NHS nurse Police, who worked at Rotherham General Hospital, was pronounced dead at the scene

Due to the coronavirus lockdown the gruesome day-light killing, which took place at around 5pm on Sunday, is thought to have been witnessed by many locals residents.  

Shortly after a neighbour appealed for help on social media, claiming Mrs Woodhall had been killed ‘in front of people in the street’. 

Police, paramedics and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance all attended Windsor Crescent, but Victoria, who was a nurse at Rotherham General Hospital, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Woodhall was later arrested near to an MOT garage, not far from the killing.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: ‘A 40-year-old man is currently in custody after a 31-year-old woman was stabbed during an incident in Barnsley yesterday evening.

‘Emergency services were called to Windsor Crescent, Middlecliffe, just before 5pm, following concerns that a woman had been stabbed.

‘Sadly, the woman was pronounced dead when officers arrived at the scene.

‘The man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

A forensics tent is now in place on the area of the pavement and road outside the marital semi-detached home where Victoria was killed

A forensics tent is now in place on the area of the pavement and road outside the marital semi-detached home where Victoria was killed

‘There will continue to be an increased police presence in the area today as officers continue to carry out enquiries.’ 

A forensics tent is now in place on the area of the pavement and road outside the marital semi-detached home where Victoria was killed. 

Crime officers have also been paying attention to a white Seat Leon, which is believed to be Victoria’s. It has since been towed away.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be identified, said: ‘I feel so sorry for the children. They have lost a lovely mum.

The NHS nurse and mother-of-three was stabbed multiple times yesterday evening outside her home

The NHS nurse and mother-of-three was stabbed multiple times yesterday evening outside her home 

‘I understand that the couple were having relationship problems and might have been living apart recently.’

The couple only got married in September last year. Victoria was a nurse at Rotherham General Hospital.

The attack comes after campaigners warned that the lockdown would make it ‘tougher than normal’ for families at risk of domestic violence.

Rachel Williams, of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse, said: ‘We know there’s a massive influx likely and it will be a pandemic on a pandemic.’

Rachel, who herself was shot by her late husband Darren after years of domestic abuse, said: ‘The perpetrators and the victims would normally spend some parts of the day in work or socialising.

Detectives are investigating the deaths of a father, his wife and their daughter at a house in Hemel Hempstead. Pictured: Fire fighters at the scene

Detectives are investigating the deaths of a father, his wife and their daughter at a house in Hemel Hempstead. Pictured: Fire fighters at the scene

‘That could give the victims breathing space and someone to talk to.

‘The children are also not in school which means they don’t have a safety net – and in some cases a decent meal.

‘Now they’re all sharing their surroundings 24/7 with no breathing space. It will be tougher than normal.’

Detectives are investigating the deaths of Gary Walker, 57, his wife Caroline, 50, and their 24-year-old daughter Katie after the were found at their home by emergency crews on Sunday in Hemel Hempstead. 

A blue tent has been erected outside the house, which still had its windows open this morning. The house and the neighbouring property were cordoned off.

A blue tent has been erected outside the house, which still had its windows open this morning. The house and the neighbouring property were cordoned off.

Officers were called to Stuarts Close shortly after 12.30pm yesterday and the three people were pronounced dead at the scene.

A blue tent has been erected outside the house, which still had its windows open this morning. The house and the neighbouring property were cordoned off.

But investigators now suspect that the tragic incident was the result of a murder-suicide involving the family members.

Major Crime Unit Detective Inspector Iain MacPherson said: ‘We are dealing with three suspicious deaths and are not looking for anyone else in connection to this incident at this time.’ 

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