| 19.2°C Dublin

Four boys aged 12 and 13 questioned over death of English pensioner

FOUR boys are today being questioned by detectives investigating the death of a pensioner who died after youths hurled stones at her house.

Joyce Moulson, 84, collapsed around 10 minutes after her Bradford home was attacked on Tuesday night, police said.

She was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary but was pronounced dead soon after she arrived.

A post-mortem examination was being carried out last night, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said.

Four boys from the city - two aged 12 and two aged 13 - were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and are in custody.

Those living nearby described Mrs Moulson as "a lovely old lady who always had time for you".

A friend and close neighbour who saw her virtually every day, said last night: "She was helpful, chatty and always had time for you and a tale to tell."

The woman, who asked not to be named, added: "She was just a lovely old lady.

"I heard the kids outside last night and basically ignored it because I'm so used to it now."

The stone terraced cottage, on a busy shopping street, was cordoned off yesterday and a police community support officer guarded the scene.

Nicola Taylor, 29, who lives on the other side of the road, said: "It's devastating. She must've been really, really scared.

"There's always a lot of kids hanging round on the corner.

"It's quite scary. We were really worried when we heard what had happened."

Another neighbour, Laura Schofield, 26, said last night: "I heard sirens last night but that's just a normal thing here."

Julie Taylor, who owns a shop near Mrs Moulson's house in Fair Road, said: "Youths are always jumping on the wall outside her house and in the garden. Some of them have no respect.

"I didn't know her personally but used to see her coming and going from her house. I'm shocked."

Police are patrolling the Wibsey area of the city following the incident, which happened at around 6pm on Tuesday.

Officers are also studying CCTV footage, a police spokesman said.

Mrs Moulson's family said she was having dinner with one of her grandchildren when a pane of glass was broken in her front door.

While the shattered glass was being cleared, she collapsed on the kitchen floor.

A family spokesman said that Mrs Moulson led an independent life but was plagued by anti-social behaviour by local youths.

Her family said: "Mum, her three children John, Julie and Jason and five grandchildren all live in the area and visited her regularly. She was a much-loved mother and was adored by those who knew her, both family and friends.

"She was perhaps best known locally for her glamorous blonde hair and dress style. She would always dress smartly, even if only going across the road to the Co-op for a pint of milk.

"Mum and her neighbours in Fair Road, North Road and Upper George Street have seen intrusions into gardens and broken windows in greenhouses. The many high garden walls in the area appear to be an attraction for youths attempting to participate in 'free running'.

"The word 'terrorised' has been used in the media. However, Mum never lived in fear of anything and her door was always open. A steady stream of family and friends would call during the day.

"She saw uninvited youths as an inconvenience and was certainly not terrorised by them. Wibsey is a good area of Bradford, only spoilt by the antics of a few.

"How and why her front door was attacked and whether it caused Mum to collapse remains part of an ongoing West Yorkshire Police inquiry."

PA Media