Mystery of stab wound suffered by blaze victim

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A MAN found dead following a ferocious fire at his home in Leeds had been stabbed, police have revealed.

The body of John Campbell, 75, was pulled from the wreckage of his home in Bawn Vale, Farnley, following a blaze in the early hours of Tuesday.

West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) is now trying to establish how the widower came to suffer the knife injury.

Det Chief Insp Neil Lineham said: “The presence of the knife wound obviously raises questions but we don’t know at this stage whether that was self-inflicted or caused by another person.

“We are treating Mr Campbell’s death as unexplained and are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances.”

Fire crews were called to Mr Campbell’s home shortly before 4am on Tuesday following a 999 call from a neighbour.

The incident left the house structurally damaged and it took some time before police and fire investigators were able to access the property in order to recover Mr Campbell’s badly burned body.

The knife wound, which police said was to his torso, was discovered during a post-mortem examination.

It has not been revealed whether Mr Campbell died from the injury or from the effects of the fire.

Police, who are now trying to establish his movements during the day before his death, say Mr Campbell visited the Sainsbury’s Local store on the ring road at Farnley shortly after 7.30am that day to buy newspapers and milk.

Det Chief Insp Lineham wants to hear from anyone with information about his lifestyle, friends and daily routine.

He added: “Mr Campbell lived alone and his next of kin live in Scotland so we are keen to speak to anyone who knows if he had any friends locally and what his daily habits were.”

A retired sheet metal worker, Mr Campbell was originally from Scotland and had lived at Bawn Walk alone since the death of his wife, Betty, in 1992.

Anyone with information should contact HMET via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.