Pensioner dies days after being arrested over his wife’s death

Posted On 11 Dec 2012 at 3:37 pm

The 85-year-old Hove man who was arrested on suspicion of murdering his 71-year-old wife has died in hospital.

Frederick Saunders, of King George VI Mansions in Court Farm Road, Hove, was arrested after a member of the South East Coast Ambulance Service staff called police to his flat.

Paramedics had gone to the flat in West Blatchington where they found the body of Mary Saunders in the bedroom on Thursday 29 November.

It has been suggested that Mr Saunders, who had what Sussex Police described as a “pre-existing and very serious underlying health condition”, had carried out a mercy killing.

Mr Saunders was taken from the address to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for treatment for minor injuries and was held on suspicion of murder.

He was formally released from arrest the next day (Friday 30 November) but remained in hospital.

The day after that (Saturday 1 December) detectives went to his hospital bedside, with the agreement of hospital consultants, and interviewed him under caution about the death.

Sussex Police said: “Although the minor injuries he was suffering from when arrested were treated, he continued to suffer from pre-existing and very serious underlying health condition and remained in hospital after the interview.”

Mr Saunders died in hospital yesterday (Monday 10 December) from natural causes as a result of his longstanding illness, Sussex Police said, and no post-mortem examination is planned.

Post-mortem tests on the body of Mrs Saunders took place in Brighton on Friday 30 November but did not establish a cause of death although no natural cause could be found.

Further forensic tests are taking place and are expected to take up to six weeks.

Inquests into the death of both Mr and Mrs Saunders will be formally opened and adjourned at Brighton Coroner’s Court tomorrow morning (Wednesday 12 December).

Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team are still investigating and the death of Mrs Saunders is still being treated as murder.

Sussex Police said that no one else was being sought in connection with the investigation.


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