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Murder probe launched as great-grandmother stabbed to death

By Richard Guttridge | Walsall | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

The victim has been named as 74-year-old Anne James, who was found dead at her own home in Walsall.

Anne James was found dead in her home in Highgate, Walsall

A murder investigation has been launched after a great-grandmother was found dead at her home in Walsall.

The body of Anne James was discovered at her home in Doveridge Place, Highgate, where the 74-year-old is believed to have been stabbed to death in what police described as a 'shocking, violent attack'.

Paramedics were called to the address at around 6.15pm last night where Mrs James was found collapsed on the floor.

She is believed to have died at some point between late morning and 5pm yesterday.

Leading officers say the motive for the horrific crime is 'unclear' at this stage.

Mrs James was pronounced dead at the scene and police said early indications suggested she had suffered knife injuries, although a post mortem will take place to establish the exact cause of death.

The house has been sealed off for forensic examinations, while detectives have urged anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area last night to come forward.

Today Mrs James' family released an emotional tribute which said: "We are all devastated at the loss of a loving wife, mum, grandma and great grandma.

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"She was an amazing, generous, kind, and much-loved part of our family; she will be very sadly missed."

According to the Companies House website, Mrs James held three directorships of local charities from 1996 to the mid 2000s.

She was listed as a director at Wolverhampton Clothesline, which helps homeless people, and The Haven Wolverhampton which looks after vulnerable women and children.

Mrs James was also a director of the Walsall Youth Arts until is was forced to close down in 2011.

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Detective Superintendent Tom Chisholm, from the West Midlands Police Homicide Team, said: “This appears to be a shocking, violent attack on an elderly lady in her home.

"Mrs James has been described as a kind and loving lady.

"Her family are devastated and can’t understand how anyone could do her any harm.

“We have conducted house-to-house enquiries and are in the process of seizing local CCTV footage that will hopefully help us build up a picture of what happened yesterday around her home address.

“We suspect Mrs James was attacked at some stage from late morning to 5pm yesterday.

"If anyone saw or heard anything suspicious, maybe someone or a vehicle that looked out of place, then I’d urge them to call my team immediately as they could hold vital information."

Chief Inspector Jason Anderson, who oversees local policing in Walsall, tweeted: "A horrific crime which is at an early investigative stage with detectives and forensics working through the scene.

"The motive is unclear at this time. Our officers are providing visible reassurance to the community."

Anyone with information is asked to contact polic eon 101, quoting log number 1636 28/2.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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