'Double murder victims' named as mum-of-three and new partner

2 January 2020, 15:25 | Updated: 2 January 2020, 16:18

Helen Almey and Martin Griffiths have been named as the victims of a "double murder" on New Year&squot;s Day
Helen Almey and Martin Griffiths have been named as the victims of a "double murder" on New Year's Day. Picture: Derbyshire Police

By Kate Buck

A "lovely" woman and her new partner have been named as the pair killed in a "double murder" just hours after the UK welcomed in a new decade.

Helen Almey, 39, died in her home with her new boyfriend Martin Griffiths, 48.

The PE teacher was named by police as Helen Hancock, but is understood to have reverted back to her maiden name after splitting with her husband.

Their bodies were found in a home in Duffield, near Derby, shortly after 4am on New Year's Day.

Ms Almey's children are aged four, seven and nine and were not believed to be inside the home at the time of the killing.

Mr Griffths also had two children, police said.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and is being questioned by police.

Ms Almey had recently split from her husband
Ms Almey had recently split from her husband. Picture: Facebook
Martin Griffiths had two children
Martin Griffiths had two children. Picture: Facebook

Detectives say they are not looking for any other suspects, and have referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to contact between Mrs Hancock and officers prior to the incident.

The pair's family have paid heartbreaking tributes to them.

Ms Almey's family said: "The family are devastated at the loss of Helen who was a lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person. We would like to thank people for allowing us privacy at this most difficult of times."

Mr Griffiths family added: “Martin was a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle, who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals.

"He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children.

"He will be greatly missed. We would also like to ask that people respect our privacy and allow us space to grieve as we attempt to come to terms with his death.”

The scene outside Ms Almey's home in Duffield
The scene outside Ms Almey's home in Duffield. Picture: PA
Ms Almey has three children under the age of 10
Ms Almey has three children under the age of 10. Picture: Facebook

One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said they could hear "screaming and shouting" coming from the home at around 3am.

They also said they could hear shouts of: "They’re dead! They’re dead! What have you f**king done?"

Other neighbours told the newspaper Ms Almey had recently split from her husband and had recently reverted to using her maiden name.

The part-time PE teacher was described as a "lovely girl, just lovely" and was "getting her life back together" following the separation.

A former school friend of Ms Almey said: "Duffield is a small place where everyone knows everyone so we’re all in complete and utter shock. We can’t stop thinking about Helen’s poor children.

Mr Griffths was a keen mountain climber
Mr Griffths was a keen mountain climber. Picture: Derbyshire Police

“She was a lovely girl. She was very popular at school.”

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, said: “The thoughts of everyone at Derbyshire Constabulary are with the family and friends of Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths.

“Our thoughts are also with the Duffield community, which is understandably shocked by this incident. 

“You will see officers in the area throughout today as the investigation continues and I would urge you to speak to them about any concerns you may have.”

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