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NEWS ROUNDUP: Murder police hunt victim’s husband


17/08/21 | Leeds local news - murder hunt | Police probing the murder of a "devoted" nurse today named her husband as a suspect and appealed for help in finding him after he went on the run.

Mark Barrott, 54, is being hunted by cops for the murder of his wife Eileen Barrott, 50, who was found dead at the couple’s home in Leeds, West Yorks., on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to the house in Naburn Fold at 6.31pm on Sunday where Eileen had been found 'with serious injuries' and pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives yesterday revealed they were searching for her husband who last seen heading to Scotland by train.

West Yorkshire Police today officially named him as a suspect in the slaying and have urged witnesses to come forward after he was seen in Aberdeen.

A spokesman said officers from West Yorkshire Police have been working with colleagues in Scotland after it was established that he had travelled to Edinburgh by train on Sunday.

Further enquiries have shown he subsequently caught a train to Aberdeen and was last sighted on CCTV in Huntly Street in the city centre at 9.16pm on Sunday.

He was spotted on CCTV leaving Leeds railway station at 1pm on Sunday, five and half hours before his wife's body was found at their house.

Neighbours told of their shock at the killing, describing Eileen as a "kind-hearted" and "devoted" nurse.

One pal claimed Eileen had been subjected to abuse for more than 20 years.

The friend, who wished not to be named, said she tried "for years" to convince Eileen to leave her husband but she never did.

But she said that Eileen, who was a mum to a son and a daughter, was a ‘captive’ in the relationship.

The friend added : “It’s absolutely heartbreaking, but it’s been going on for years maybe 20 years.

“She used to stay at my sister’s, and she used to tell her to leave him all of the time.

“One time he was just screaming and hailing abuse at her daughter.

“She was captive in that relationship.

“It’s horrendous to think this could happen. I’m still in shock.”

Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Rolfe from West Yorkshire Police said: “We are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries to locate Mark Barrott as a suspect for his wife Eileen’s murder.

“We are liaising closely with our colleagues from Police Scotland who have established the most recent sighting of Mr Barrott on CCTV in Aberdeen city centre on Sunday night.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who has seen him since then or who has any information that could assist in tracing him.

“Eileen’s family have been left completely devastated at her death in these circumstances and we are doing everything we can to support them as we progress the investigation.”

Police warned the public not to approach Barrot but to contact police immediately on 999.

Detectives also want to trace Barrott’s car - a silver Toyota Avensis, registration FJ51 ZHB - which is believed to have been left in Leeds before he boarded the train.

A pal said yesterday: “She was so kind and she had such a lovely smile. But you could tell she was always nervous.

“She was the nicest person, but she was very shy.

“She was a nurse and worked 24 hours a day, she was so devoted.”

Witnesses are asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting Operation Pumacastle, reference 1321041355.

(SWNS | Ashley Pemberton & Joe Pagnelli)



A teen once coached by Gareth Southgate tragically died in a motorbike smash after hitting a van head-on was just a day into his lads' holiday in Thailand, an inquest heard.

Anthony Ryan, 17, travelled to the holiday hotspot after his boss Jonathan Bond invited him on an all-expenses paid trip for his birthday in January 2019.

Bradford Coroner’s Court heard how Anthony ‘wanted to race’ down a hill and began to ‘swerve left to right’ before the shocking collision which ended his life on January 24.

The pair had arrived in Thailand the day before, and decided to rent motorbikes just hours before the crash.

The court was told Jonathan rented the bikes with his license as Anthony didn’t have his provisional license yet.

Anthony, from Bradford, West Yorks., had been traveling downhill on a Honda Zoomer-X with Jonathan trailing behind him when he suddenly lost control of the bike in the rain.

He suddenly swerved into the incoming minivan at around 20mph and was flung across the road while shattered glass and debris scattered across the road, the court heard.

Emergency services rushed to the scene within minutes but Anthony sadly died from his injuries at Patong Hospital a short time later.

Thai police confirmed that Anthony ‘wilfully rode the bike without due care before colliding with a minivan driver’ before his tragic death at around 9pm that evening.

Jonathan, who met Anthony when the teenager moved to Cornwall, said he ‘didn’t want to ride a bike at all’ but later admitted ‘it’s my fault at the end of the day’.

Jonathan said: “I wasn’t keen on riding a motorbike in Thailand.

“We all make stupid mistakes.

“I don’t want to blame Anthony, but he was swerving left to right. I told him to stop that.

“I said mate you’ve got to stop doing that, I don’t know these roads.

“When the crash happened, I saw the front of the minibus, and I ran back to Anthony. There was debris everywhere.

“It was just horrendous.

“It’s my fault at the end of the day.”

Speaking during the inquest, Anthony’s tearful mother Clare Wright said she was ‘angry’ at Jonathan as he was supposed to be ‘my son’s guardian’.

She said: “He knew Anthony didn’t have his license.

“The store didn’t check any documents before allowing my son to ride a powerful motorcycle.

“I’m angry with him, he knew Anthony, he was my son’s guardian.”

Senior Coroner Martin Fleming told Jonathan he was the ‘responsible adult’ who let Anthony ride the bike when it was ‘not the safest in the world to ride a motorbike’.

Mr Fleming said: “It’s not the safest place in the world to ride a motorbike, you were the responsible adult.

“You had three occasions to tell him enough is enough.”

Anthony had recently moved to Cornwall to start work as a labourer and had planned to start a college business course.

Mr Fleming said Anthony was a ‘wonderful son’ who ‘seemed to be thriving’ before his untimely death.

He concluded that the teenager’s death was as a result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Fleming said: “Anthony was a wonderful son. He had so many friends, he was a hard worker.

“He seemed to be thriving, he had a job lined up and had intentions to go to college.

“His life was cut short with so much promise, and he has left his mother and family devastated.

“According to the driver of the oncoming minivan, he saw Anthony’s motorcycle approaching from the opposite side at speed and encroached into his lane.

“His death was a result from the multiple injuries suffered from the crash.

“Anthony was a little excited on the motorcycle.

“There are so many reasons in hindsight, as he did not have a valid license, and Mr Bond had several opportunities to say that’s enough.

“Having considered the totality of the evidence, he died as a result of a road traffic collision.

“To lose your son, a popular lad, in these sudden and unexpected circumstances must be so difficult for you to bear.

“If you can accept my sincerest condolences.

“The great tragedy here is that he was so young when he lost his life, and he showed so much promise.”

England manager Gareth Southgate had paid a heartfelt tribute to the young lad who he met during a coaching session at the boy's school in Bradford in 2014.

At the time, he said Anthony's passing was 'incredibly sad' and described it as a 'reminder to us all to make the most of everyday'.

A picture shows the youngster, who was around 12 or 13 at the time, alongside Southgate, who was then the England under-21 manager.

His letter was read out during the service by Lyndsey Brown, head teacher at Oastlers School in Bradford, where Anthony was a student.

It said: "I just wanted to write to you all having heard the incredibly sad news about Anthony.

"Sean Reagan (Anthony's old PE teacher) sent me a picture of the day I came up to visit and Anthony was involved in that training session.

"I know this will have been a difficult time for you all and it will be really hard to move forward.

"I am sure you will all pay your respects in the appropriate way and you will all be there to support Anthony's family.

"What has happened is a reminder to us all to make the most of every day."

(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)



A widower is set to receive more than 1,000 cards for his 101st birthday after kind-hearted care home staff appealed to generous strangers to make his day special.

RAF veteran Jack Annall will not be able to get a visit from his daughter Mary for his big day next Thursday as she lives in Australia and cannot travel due to the pandemic.

To avoid him feeling lonely, care home manager Vicky Gudgin, 32, appealed for cards to be sent to Jack at the home in Halifax, West Yorks.

Vicky wanted to cheer him up after she noticed he appeared down and appealed on social media for birthday cards to be sent in.

And she was stunned with the response as more than 700 have already arrived at the care home - with hundreds more are expected from well-wishers touched by his story.

Vicky said: "He doesn't have much family as his daughter lives abroad.

"I knew he was feeling a little bit down about not being able to see his daughter and I thought, what can we do to lift his spirits?

"I thought, let's get the community involved and the extent it has is incredible."

She initially asked other care homes in the area to send cards, but when the appeal was shared on social media, hundreds arrived from around the world.

The veteran, who served in the RAF, will be treated to a visit from the air force, the local mayor and a brass band concert on his birthday on Thursday, August 19.

Vicky added: "Jack is a wonderful person and we really want to make the day special for him.

"Knowing Jack, he wouldn't want a big party, I just thought it would be nice to get a few cards for him.

"Initially, I wanted to get 101 cards, but we've already had 700 delivered already.

"We've got 200 on the way from ex-servicemen and another 100 from a local group. We're well on course to get more than 1,000."

Staff have set aside a lounge room in the home to accommodate all the cards and gifts.

Vicky added: "We've had businesses and people offering to send presents and arrange entertainment. We've had singers offer to come and perform.

"But Jack likes to be low-key so we've tried to keep it that way as best we can.

"He'll have a visit from an RAF representative, the mayor is coming to see him and we have a brass band playing for him because he loves brass bands.

"We're keeping the cards a surprise for him though."

Jack was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, but moved to Bradford, West Yorks., where he lived with his late wife May.

He served as a joiner in the RAF for more than four years during the second world war as part of Number 617 Squadron and worked on Mosquito planes.

Their daughter, Mary, now lives in Sydney and has not been to the UK for more than three years in part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has video calls with his daughter twice a week and his niece also visits once a week, but he has no grandchildren.

Jack, who has resided in the Sandholme Fold care home since 2016, said good food was the secret to living so long.

Staff say he enjoys painting, classical music, brass bands and speaking with his family.

Mary, who plans to give her dad a special call on his birthday, said: “Dad is an amazing man who has always supported those close to him.”

(SWNS | Ashley Pemberton)

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