A CLOSE-KNIT community has been rocked by the violent death of a popular grandmother on Christmas Eve.
Police who were called to a house in North View, Hunwick, near Crook, County Durham, found the body of Lesley Caile, a 48-year-old mother-of-two and grandmother-of-three.
Ms Caile was a senior social worker with Durham County Council.
A man aged 46, believed to be her partner, was found injured in the house and airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said the man’s condition was stable.
He was yesterday arrested on suspicion of murder and the spokeswoman said he would be interviewed in due course. Police were called to the terraced home at around 11.15am on Christmas Eve.
Det Supt Ken Donnelly, the man leading the inquiry into Ms Caile’s death, said: “We are investigating a violent death in tragic circumstances.
“Officers are working to establish the facts, and to piece together the events that led to Lesley’s death.”
Anyone with information is urged to ring Durham Constabulary on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Police said the murder suspect lived at the same address as Ms Caile.
Ms Caile was a team manager with the county council’s Children and Young People’s Services.
Neighbours spoke of their shock at the news of a violent death in their community.
One resident who asked not to be named, said: “It is bad enough at any time of the year but at Christmas it is unbelievably sad. This has cast a shadow over the village.”
Another said: “Things like this do not happen in Hunwick, it is a quiet, friendly village.”
Locals said Ms Caile had a relative who runs The Joiners Arms pub in the village, which has been closed since the tragedy.