This is the seven-year-old boy allegedly murdered by his mother at their home in a Shropshire town.
Archie Spriggs was found dead yesterday at the family home in Church Stretton and his mother, Lesley Speed, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Charity shop worker Speed, 44, who was also injured at the property, remains in hospital receiving treatment for injuries to her neck and arm.
Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Pictured: Archie Spriggs was found dead yesterday at the family home in Church Stretton and his mother, Lesley Speed, has been arrested on suspicion of murder
Miss Speed, a mother-of-two, pictured with her father, has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of her seven-year-old son Archie Spriggs
Archie Spriggs was found dead at this house in a Shropshire town yesterday evening
Forensics officers are continuing their examination inside and the scene remains cordoned off
Officers were called to the house in Rushbury village, in Church Stretton, at around 6.15pm on Thursday.
Rushbury CE Primary School headteacher Diane Pye confirmed: ‘I am deeply saddened to say that Archie Spriggs tragically died yesterday.’
The head continued: ‘Archie was a wonderful, bubbly boy and a much loved member of our school.
‘He was well respected and will be remembered very fondly as a good friend and pupil. He will be much missed by everyone who knew him.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Archie and his family and we ask that people continue to respect their privacy at this difficult time.’
Miss Speed also has an older son called Zack. According to Facebook she was in a relationship with Darren Jones.
The mother-of-two was a volunteer at the Hope House charity and was an active charity fundraiser.
Last week she posted on Facebook: ‘The girl who seemed unbreakable, broke. She dropped a fake smile and whispered to herself, I can’t do this anymore.’
She had also recently encouraged her older son Zack to apply for a job at The Lazy Trout Cafe & Fish Bar in Church Stretton.
Staff at the Hope House charity shop where she worked were visibly upset by the ‘awful’ news but the manager of the store declined to comment.
Lesley Speed, 44, a charity worker, has been arrested on suspicion of murder today
Last week Miss Speed posted on Facebook: ‘The girl who seemed unbreakable, broke. She dropped a fake smile and whispered to herself, I can’t do this anymore’
Witnesses described their shock at seeing an air ambulance land in the garden of a property on the sleepy Shropshire road.
Cathy Griffiths, 59, who runs a dancing school, said: ‘It was just after six o’clock when lots of police cars arrived, so I knew something terrible had happened.
‘They shut off the entire road, and my husband told me an air ambulance had been.
‘I only know the woman was called Lesley and the little boy was her son.
‘She lived there with a man, I assumed was either her husband or partner. They seemed a lovely family.
‘Her little boy used to play football outside. He was adorable. I only saw them a couple of days ago.
‘The mum was walking hand-in-hand with her son coming back from school in Church Stretton. I was in the car and I waved at them. They both saw me and smiled and waved.
‘I am very sad about what happened. It’s completely unclear what has gone on. It is an absolute tragedy.’
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘It was chaos when the police began to arrive. They just kept coming and coming.
‘There was an air ambulance that landed in the field at the back to take the mum away. They rushed her in fast.
Police have launched a murder investigation after Archie Spriggs, seven, was found dead
Police continued to investigate this morning and arrested Miss Speed on suspicion of murder
‘There were another three ambulances outside that I could count. I guess they couldn’t save the boy. It’s so sad.
‘Our little street [Rushbury Road] is in shock. Everyone knows each other and looks out for one another.
‘You would often see the little lad running up and down.’
Another Rushbury resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Lesley had recently changed her hairstyle and seemed very happy. I can’t imagine what’s happened.
‘They were a nice family together. She had an older son, who used to come by on his motorbike.
‘You would see Leslie holdings hands with her young son and encouraging him to come inside for dinner when he was playing out. The whole thing is terrible.’
Archie Spriggs, seven, had been a pupil at Rushbury Primary School, close to his home
Another neighbour who did not wish to be named said: ‘The little boy was a friendly, lovely little boy. He went to the Rushbury primary school and was popular.’
According to a parent at the primary school, the headteacher was due to give a special assembly this morning.
Forensics officers are continuing their examination inside and the scene remains cordoned off.
Four plain-clothes police officers at the semi-detached property spent some time looking at items in the garden.
A police spokeswoman said: ‘A 44-year-old woman from Church Stretton has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.’
Commenting on the incident on Thursday night, Superintendent Tom Harding, of West Mercia Police, said: ‘There has been significant police activity at the address this evening and we expect that this will continue through tomorrow as we try to establish what has taken place.
‘Our thoughts are with the family of the young child and we will continue to support them as our investigation progresses.’
A spokesman for West Mercia police said officers were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: ‘Two ambulances, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a MERIT trauma doctor on board attended the scene.
‘Sadly, when ambulance staff arrived they found a boy who they were unable to revive and he was confirmed dead on scene.
‘A woman was also found with multiple serious injuries. The team worked to administer vital trauma care on scene before she was airlifted to hospital.’
Anyone with information can call 101 quoting incident 628 of 21 September or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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