Lancashire detectives release CCTV showing murder victim's last known movements

Detectives investigating the murder of a pensioner in Lancashire have released footage of what are thought to be his final movements.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 8:06 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 8:32 am

The footage shows 79-year-old murder victim Bill Howard outside his home at 15 St James Street, Accrington at around 2.15pm on Tuesday, August 24.

Four days later - just before 2pm on Saturday, August 28 - emergency services attended the home following concerns for his welfare.

Mr Howard was found inside the home with serious head injuries and stab wounds. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

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The footage shows 79-year-old murder victim Bill Howard outside his home at 15 St James Street, Accrington at around 2.15pm on Tuesday, August 24 - the last sighting of him before the discovery of his body four days later on August 28

A post mortem examination established the cause of death to be fatal head and chest injuries.

Three men - aged 54, 56 and 58 - all from Accrington - have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.

The CCTV footage is the last sighting of Mr Howard alive and detectives believe anyone who was in the area at that time might have key information which could help solve his murder.

Detectives are now appealing for witnesses who might have noticed anything suspicious in the St James Street between 3pm on August 24 and 2pm on August 28 to get in touch.

Yesterday (Wednesday, September 1), Mr Howard's family paid tribute to the 79-year-old. You can read their statement here.

Appeal for witnesses

DCI Allen Davies, who is leading the investigation, said: "This incident has resulted in a man losing his life in quite shocking circumstances.

"We believe Mr Howard suffered a significant head injury and was then stabbed, which resulted in his death.

"Although two men are in custody our murder investigation is very much ongoing. We have a dedicated team of detectives working to establish who is responsible for this shocking crime.

"We are continuing to appeal for witnesses. Did you see Mr Howard between August 24 or August 28? Did you see or know of anybody entering 15 St James Street, Accrington, between those dates?

"Did you see or hear anything suspicious or concerning in the area? Were you in St James Street, Accrington, between those dates and have dashcam or mobile phone footage?

"If so, I would ask you to please get in contact with the police straight away as you may have key information which could help us solve this crime.

"I appreciate this incident will cause residents a great deal of concern and we have increased reassurance patrols in the area.

"If you see an officer in the area feel free to say hello or pass on any information you might have."

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Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 0785 of August 28, 2021, or report it online.