Man quizzed after two pensioners found dead

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A MAN is being questioned by police on suspicion of the murder of two elderly women who were found dead in their homes.

The 43-year-old was arrested by detectives investigating a suspected “burglary gone wrong” after widow Margaret Biddolph, who was aged in her 80s, was found dead at her home in Lonsdale Road, Southport, late on Tuesday afternoon.

Further inquiries led officers to a house in nearby Birch Street, where they discovered the body of a second pensioner, named by neighbours as Annie Leyland.

Post-mortem examinations were due to be held yesterday and though formal identification was yet to be made, the families of both women had been notified.

The two addresses yesterday remained sealed off while detectives conducted house-to-house inquiries in the area.

Officers are also scouring CCTV footage from cameras in both neighbourhoods.

A neighbour described Mrs Biddolph as a “quiet, lovely woman” who she would often see tending her garden.

Marianne Lott, who lives opposite, said Mrs Biddolph had been a widow for 40 years and had three grown-up children.

“She was very jolly and independent,” she added. “She was in her 80s but that didn’t stop her getting taxis out and about to get groceries or do some shopping.”

A neighbour of Annie Leyland said: “She was the sort of person who kept herself to herself.”

Chief Superintendent Nikki Holland, Merseyside Police’s area commander for Sefton, said: “I would like to reassure residents, particularly older residents, who live in the Kew area where these addresses are located that we have increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance and support.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.