Tributes paid to 'lovely' Lancashire man found dead in street as murder investigation continues

A family has paid tribute to a "quiet" and "lovely" man who was murdered in Accrington as police continue to appeal for witnesses.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 7:09 pm

Bill Howard, 79, was found with serious head injuries in St James Street just before 2pm on Saturday August 28.

Emergency services attended but Mr Howard was pronounced dead at the scene.

A postmortem established the cause of death to be fatal head and chest injuries. Police say he was stabbed.

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Three men - aged 54 and 58 and both from Accrington and a 56-year-old man from Accrington - were arrested on suspicion of murder.

All three men remain in custody.

Mr Howard's family are aware of the development and are being supported by officers.

In a tribute Mr Howard’s brother, Jack, said: "Bill was a quiet, lovely man who would not hurt a fly, Bill lived a quiet life and had very few friends.

Detectives investigating the murder of a pensioner in Accrington are continuing to appeal for witnesses. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

"Bill was my brother and he was also my best friend. Losing Bill in these tragic circumstances is like losing my right arm.

"We have been together for nearly eighty years and now I have lost him for ever."

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Detectives investigating the "shocking" murder are appealing to the public for help to find those responsible.

Det Chief Insp Allen Davies, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: "We believe Mr Howard suffered a significant head injury and was then stabbed, which resulted in his death. My thoughts are very much with Mr Howard's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

"Although three 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."

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting log number 0785 of August 28, 2021.

You can also report it online via doitonline.lancashire.police.uk.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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