Sunday 23 October 2016

Suspect in actress killing had knife when captured

Kate Ferguson

Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30

A police officer leads Arthur Simpson-Kent into the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Accra, Ghana.
A police officer leads Arthur Simpson-Kent into the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Accra, Ghana.
The bodies of Sian Blake and her two children were found in the family home in Kent last week. Photo: PA

The man suspected of killing the former 'EastEnders' actress Sian Blake was carrying a knife and had to be disarmed by police when he was arrested at the weekend, the Ghanian authorities said yesterday.

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Arthur Simpson-Kent was captured in Ghana after fleeing the UK in the wake of the death of his partner Sian Blake and their two children, Zachary (8) and four year-old Amon.

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

Officers arrested Simpson-Kent (48) in a town in the western region of Ghana.

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.

Locals in the area where Simpson-Kent had been hiding contacted Ghanaian 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.

Police called out to him and he gave himself up.

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.

Simpson-Kent was presented to media in the capital Accra yesterday. He was handcuffed and sat on a stool with police at his side shortly after he was detained. He was then driven away in a vehicle.

A police spokesman had confirmed his arrest, saying: "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."

At a news conference in Accra, Ghana CID's director-general Prosper Agblor said: "The fugitive is in our custody awaiting an official request from the British Government for his extradition to the UK."

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

It is understood concerns about domestic violence were raised by a relative of Ms Blake to the British 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.

Irish Independent

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