Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mum Called Police Weeks before Death

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mum Called Police Weeks before Death

Article excerpt

Byline: By Guy Basnett

A mother-of-three murdered in a "horrific" attack in the centre of Newcastle had called officers just weeks earlier to report a domestic incident, police said last night.

Hairdresser Sharon Bell, 38, of Elswick, Newcastle, was repeatedly stabbed after her killer walked into the New York Hair Salon, on Nelson Street, on Tuesday evening.

She was found slumped in the doorway by passers-by and died later in hospital.

Last night Detective Chief Inspector Roger Ford, leading the investigation, revealed she was in the process of cashing up when she was attacked, but no money was taken.

He said: "From our inquiries we believe this was not a random attack. Sharon was attacked because she was Sharon, she was attacked because of the person she was.

"That is our main line of inquiry.

"At this stage I'm not in a position to discuss a possible motive. We are carrying out a number of enquiries around Sharon's lifestyle, friends and past and present associates."

Detectives believe Miss Bell was alive at 5pm, before being found stabbed at 5.20pm. They are now trawling through CCTV footage from the area in a bid to catch her killer.

A post mortem examination found she suffered multiple stab wounds with a "sharp instrument", but police have said they "do not believe" she was killed with her scissors.

Miss Bell lived with her three children, Dale, 16, Natasha, 15, and Fay, aged six, in Belgrave Parade.

Mr Ford said she had reported a domestic incident to police two months ago.

Asked whether it was relevant to the case, he said: "The background of a homicide victim forms a vital part of that inquiry, and I can confirm that forms a part of this one."

But he said damage to Miss Bell's grey Vauxhall Corsa ( still parked outside her home with black bin liner taped over its broken rear window ( was thought to be unrelated. …

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