Saturday 10 December 2016

Partner of dead EastEnders actress is detained in Ghana

Ian Johnston

Published 10/01/2016 | 02:30

POLICE HANDOUT Arthur Simpson-Kent was arrested hidden amongst some rocks along the coast of Ghana
POLICE HANDOUT Arthur Simpson-Kent was arrested hidden amongst some rocks along the coast of Ghana
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout file photo issued by Metropolitan Police 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. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday January 6, 2016. Shocked neighbours of Sian, 43, who played Frankie Pierre in the hit soap, broke down in tears after the discovery in the garden of her home in Erith, Kent, on Tuesday. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The man suspected of murdering his partner, the former EastEnders actress Sian Blake, and their two sons has been arrested by police in Ghana.

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Arthur Simpson-Kent (48) was detained in Basua, a beach resort near the city of Takoradi in south-western Ghana, yesterday afternoon.

Ghanaian Police who had been asked to look for Mr Simpson-Kent had concentrated the search on the Cape Coast area, where his extended family is originally from, and the Atlantic coast in general. Local people in a village near Basua had called the police to say he was in the area and armed officers arrested him while he was hiding among rocks on the beach.

An official in Ghana said that the detained man who "had a knife and a spoon on him" when he was found.

Ms Blake (43) who appeared on the BBC soap in the 1990s, and her sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, were last seen in Waltham Forest, London, on December 13. Police officers visited Mr Simpson-Kent at the family's home in Erith, Kent, three days later and Ms Blake and the children were then reported as missing.

This was the last reported sighting of Mr Simpson-Kent in the UK. On December 19, he was photographed by passport control at the airport in Accra.

The case was not treated as a murder until January 4. The following day, the bodies of Ms Blake and the couple's two children were found hidden in the garden of the house in Erith. Postmortems showed they had died as a result of head and neck injuries.

Ms Blake had been suffering from motor neurone disease. She was reportedly looking "very frail" shortly before her disappearance.

Ms Blake's sister Ava said that Mr Simpson-Kent will have to "answer to God" for his alleged actions. She also said her sister had told their mother that she wanted to leave him "a long time ago".

Prior to taking the role in EastEnders, the actress had been working as a receptionist to make ends meet. It was a dream breakthrough.

However, her dream soured after some viewers failed to separate fact from fiction, sending hate mail over her portrayal of the "marriage wrecker" Frankie Pierre. Ms Blake quit the show after 56 episodes, with the level of hostility reportedly one of the factors behind the decision.

She went on to do Radio 4 narrations, played Rosaline in Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost for the English Touring Theatre and appeared in The Bill and Casualty, but EastEnders remained her most memorable role.

Sunday Independent

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