Sister Of Woman Stabbed By Carer ‘Shocked’

The sister of a disabled patient found stabbed to death with her care worker in a Southampton flat has spoken of her shock at the discovery. Police found Sue Hale, in her 40s, and her care worker dead in a flat in Townhill Park on Thursday.

Ms Hale’s sister, Barbara Smee, 53, of Portsmouth, said she was still “coming to terms with what had happened”. Mrs Smee, 53, said: “I’m still shaking, it’s a big shock, I couldn’t believe it. She had no enemies and I just can’t believe anyone would do this to her. She was bubbly, she would help people if she could, she would do anything for anybody.”

Mrs Smee said that of six siblings, herself, Ms Hale and their brother Peter all suffered from cerebellar ataxia – a disorder which affects co-ordination. She added Ms Hale kept herself active with a part-time job in a Scope charity shop in Southampton.

“The last time I saw her was at Christmas,” she added. “We went to a party together, we went to bingo. She was happy.” Her comments come as a team of around 50 officers carry out extensive inquiries and forensic experts examine the flat.

Police have urged residents to be vigilant. Post-mortem examinations are due soon. Chief Inspector Tim Ashman, from Hampshire police, said: “This is a worrying incident, and understandably people will be anxious that the offender is at large. We have a team of highly-skilled detectives working on this enquiry, and I’d like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to catch the person responsible.”

Police were continuing to view CCTV footage taken from a block of flats, where the two women were discovered at 1720 GMT. It is thought the alarm was raised by the care worker’s council employers and her husband, who reported her missing. The block of 10 flats was evacuated as the investigation got under way, with residents moved into temporary accommodation.