Monday 5 December 2016

Police in Ghana arrest suspected killer of EastEnders star and her sons

Published 10/01/2016 | 08:40

Arrested: Arthur Simpson-Kent was found hiding on beach
Arrested: Arthur Simpson-Kent was found hiding on beach

Police have reportedly arrested the suspected killer of an ex-EastEnders actress and her two sons.

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Arthur Simpson-Kent was captured in Ghana after fleeing the UK following the death of his partner Sian Blake and their two children, Zachary, eight, and four year-old Amon, according to reports.

Scotland Yard launched a murder investigation after their bodies were discovered in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent.

According to The Daily Mirror, officers arrested Simpson-Kent, 48, in a town in the western region of Ghana.

Undated handout file photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Arthur Simpson-Kent (left), 48, and Amon, four, the partner and son of Sian Blake, 43, as murder squad detectives continue to search for the boyfriend of the ex-EastEnders actress after three bodies were found by police looking for the performer and her two children
Undated handout file photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Arthur Simpson-Kent (left), 48, and Amon, four, the partner and son of Sian Blake, 43, as murder squad detectives continue to search for the boyfriend of the ex-EastEnders actress after three bodies were found by police looking for the performer and her two children

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Detectives have today, Saturday, 9 January, been made aware of an arrest in Ghana.

"We are currently working alongside the Ghanaian authorities but are not in a position to discuss further at this time."

Detectives discovered the bodies of Ms Blake, 43, and her two sons last Tuesday and said "significant attempts" had been made to conceal the family's remains.

All three had died as a result of head and neck injuries, police said.

Ava (left) and Pansy Blake, called for Sian's boyfriend Arthur Simpson-Kent to be
Ava (left) and Pansy Blake, called for Sian's boyfriend Arthur Simpson-Kent to be "brought back to justice"

The BBC reported that locals in the area where Simpson-Kent had been hiding contacted police on realising he was a wanted man after seeing his image on social media.

Around 10 armed officers descended onto the beach where he was spotted hiding between some rocks, according to reports.

Tributes and messages are left at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Tributes and messages are left at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Police called out to him and he gave himself up. He was found with a knife in his possession but had not used it in a threatening way, the BBC reported.

Officers from Interpol, the international crime-fighting agency, were involved in the arrest alongside Ghanaian police.

He has been taken to a local police station and is expected to be flown back to the UK for questioning shortly.

Pictures showed Simpson-Kent handcuffed and sat on a stool with police at his side shortly after he was detained, and others of him being driven away in a vehicle.

ITV news said a police spokesman had confirmed his arrest, revealing: "He was at a hideout in Western Region. With the kind of collaboration between the police and public that we have, we managed to nab him there."

An Interpol spokesman in Ghana said Simpson-Kent was being driven to the capital Accra from the port city of Takoradi, ITV reported.

It is understood concerns about domestic violence were raised by a relative of Ms Blake to the NSPCC on December 16, information which was passed on to the Metropolitan Police and Bexley Council.

A missing persons investigation was launched on the same day after police visited the home, but the bodies were not discovered until around three weeks later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been launched into Scotland Yard's handling of the case.

Ms Blake's sister Ava said Simpson-Kent will have to "answer to God" if he was responsible for their deaths.

And she revealed her sibling had told their mother, Pansy, that she wanted to get out of her relationship "a long time ago".

Ms Blake had motor neurone disease - a fatal, rapidly progressing illness which affects the brain and spinal cord - and was reportedly looking "very frail" before she vanished.

Miss Blake's family declined to comment on the arrest at their home in Leyton, east London, on Sunday morning.

But outside the neat terrace house, propped on the window ledge, were three pink roses which lay beside three tea light candles.

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