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MAN HELD AFTER DOUBLE MURDER HORROR AT HOME; PENSIONERS 'STABBED TO DEATH' IN ATTACK Shock as 40-year-old arrested over brutal killing of elderly couple.

Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE

POLICE last night described the murder of an elderly couple in their home as a "very brutal attack".

The pair, named locally as Michael and Lillian Cawdrey, were discovered by a relative in Portadown, Co Armagh.

There were unconfirmed reports the pensioners, understood to have been 83, were stabbed to death.

Detectives investigating the attack later arrested a 40-year-old and it is understood he was detained close to the scene in Upper Ramone Park.

A number of sources indicated a man had also been held earlier in the day after behaving erratically.

One told the Mirror a man was detained by officers in Newry, Co Down, after being seen naked.

It is claimed he was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital and later left. The facility is only a few hundred yards from Upper Ramone Park.

There were unconfirmed reports that around the same time as the killing there was a "rampage" in the area, involving thefts and a car being stolen.

Last night, the attack scene was sealed off with police officers only allowing access to residents as forensics teams looked for evidence.

Neighbour Alvin Winter said he was shocked at the news.

He added: "It's just completely devastating for something like this to happen on your doorstep.

"It's just a quiet cul-de-sac and we only heard when people started ringing us, then we heard the helicopter overhead.

"You just don't expect this to happen so close. It's awful." Last night, Det Supt Kevin Geddes described the killing as a "very brutal attack".

He added: "At around 3.40 this afternoon police and the Ambulance Service were called to an address at Upper Ramone Park.

"When they arrived they discovered two elderly people dead in the house.

"We are treating this as a murder investigation and I'd like to appeal for information.

"We are aware a grey Renault Kango van was stolen by someone who was in that house around the time of the murder.

"That vehicle has subsequently been recovered by us in the Edenderry area of Portadown which is a short drive from where it was taken.

"There was also suspicious activity including a car being broken into around 12.20 this morning. That may well be connected.

"We have arrested a male close to where we found the van in the Springfields area of Portadown."

DS Geddes would not be drawn on how the couple died but confirmed a weapon or weapons had been used.

He declined to say if officers are looking for anyone else over the murder but wanted to "reassure the public" there will be a increased police presence in the area.

Asked if the man detained had been in hospital prior to the incident he said it was a "line of inquiry".

DS Geddes added the suspect has not been detained under mental health legislation.

It is unclear if any weapon has been recovered from the scene.

Police said the Kango van, registration NJZ 6101, was later found at around 5pm.

DS Geddes added: "We need to know the movements of this car from the time it left Upper Ramone Park until it was recovered in Edenderry Gardens."

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie, who was at the scene of the tragedy, said local people are "deeply shocked".

He added: "It's a very disturbing situation on what is a leafy street with people going about their business.

Obviously, it is a very difficult time for the family of the deceased couple and our thoughts should be with them.

"The family affected and the local community must be given time and space to come to terms with this dreadful tragedy."

Upper Bann MP David Simpson called for anyone with information to come forward.

He added: "My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased family.

"This is a horrific scene and one that has shocked the entire Portadown and wider community.

"The couple tragically lost their lives in their own home today.

"We can only begin to imagine the shock, heartbreak and pain this has caused."

irish@mgn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

sealed off Police cordon outside the victims' home

EVIDENCE Forensics officers look for clues

PROBE Police at scene

crime scene Officers at home in Portadown yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 27, 2017
Words:705
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