Social Care Worker Stabbed To Death At Community Home

An experienced social care worker was stabbed to death yesterday while visiting a client at a “care in the community” home which has won praise from neighbours in a quiet city suburb.

Philip Ellison, 47 and married with three sons, died on a routine visit to the house in Fulwood, north Preston, which Lancashire county council rents to provide homes for people with long-term psychiatric problems.

Specially trained detectives this morning start questioning a 51-year-old man who was arrested at the house. Ellison, of Penwortham, Preston, was found in the two-storey property bleeding from a number of stab wounds and was taken to the nearby hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.

Neighbours in the cul-de-sac, Glebe Close, a housing association development in the grounds of a former hospital, said that three police vehicles had blocked off the house shortly before midday. Mark Rigby, 38, whose house overlooks the property said he was working on his computer and looked up to see another neighbour coming away from the house.

“The next thing I saw was the police vans and officers running around,” he said. “One rushed out and got a first aid kit and then an ambulance came and the police were saying, ‘Come on! Come in!’

“Two police officers took a bald-headed chap out of the house in handcuffs and put him in the van. There was no struggle. The next thing, blue police tape went up around the house.”

Other neighbours said that the house was an accepted part of life in the close, which leads into a longer terrace of housing association homes in Vicarage Lane.

Abrahim Amlas, 69, said: “They are always friendly in my experience. They go out to buy cigarettes or groceries, sometimes with their carers who come every day, and we exchange friendly Hellos. This is a terrible thing for the poor social worker’s family.”

One of the nearest neighbours to the house, 29-year-old Patrick Agdewornu, had just got back from his night shift as a care worker when he saw the police. “I know the guy involved. I go in there sometimes to help mend their computer and that sort of thing.”

Ellison, who lived in Penwortham, Preston, was praised last night by the county council. Councillor Chris Cheetham, Lancashire’s cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “It is a dreadful loss. My first thoughts are for his family and friends. An assessment is always done in circumstances such as this about the possible risk of violence. On behalf of the authority I would like to offer our sincere condolences.”

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We will work with Lancashire county council to investigate all the circumstances.”

Police, said a 51-year-old man was being held on suspicion of murder.