Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Businesswoman, 60 Murdered in 'Horrific and Ferocious' Attack ; 34-Year-Old Is Questioned over Killing after Police Say Victim Suffered Defensive Wounds in 'Targeted' Crime

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Businesswoman, 60 Murdered in 'Horrific and Ferocious' Attack ; 34-Year-Old Is Questioned over Killing after Police Say Victim Suffered Defensive Wounds in 'Targeted' Crime

Article excerpt

A'SUCCESSFUL and accomplished' businesswoman found brutally stabbed to death in the hallway of her home had been murdered in an 'horrific and ferocious attack'.

Detectives said they believe the attack on 60-year-old Sadie Hartley was 'targeted'.

No forced entry was found at the luxury property on Sunny Bank Road in Helmshore, Rossendale, and no weapon has been found.

Police confirmed mother-of-two Ms Hartley, who is a company director at Hartley Taylor Medical Communications Ltd, in Knutsford, also had 'some defensive wounds'.

Det Supt Paul Withers said: "This was an horrific attack on a 60- year-old lady in her home address. She is a decent lady, clearly living in a lovely area of Helmshore and it's imperative we find the person responsible.

"If I can offer a degree of reassurance to the public, I don't think this is a random attack, I think this is a targeted attack and I think the answers lies here on Sunny Bank Road but I'm not dismissing anything at this time.

"We don't know if it's someone she invited here or someone who simply knocked on the door and attacked Sadie there and then.

"She is a thoroughly decent lady, a successful businesswoman who worked very very hard and certainly didn't deserve to end her life in this manner.

"It's a ferocious attack so we are all absolutely determined to find out who's done it so they can face the courts and have a very lengthy custodial sentence."

Police were called to her home on Friday evening following concerns from a colleague. Ms Hartley had been at a conference in Manchester the previous day. News of the tragedy was broken to her partner, Ian Johnston, while he was on holiday skiing in Switzerland.

Det Supt Withers revealed that a 34-yearold woman arrested in Chester on suspicion of murder is being transferred to Greenbank police station in Blackburn for questioning. He said: "I don't think the woman is known to the victim but that remains to be seen. …

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