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Man quizzed over 'road rage murder' of great-grandfather Donald Lock

Published 17/07/2015

Police at a roadblock close to where a man was stabbed to death by another motorist in Findon, West Sussex.
Police at a roadblock close to where a man was stabbed to death by another motorist in Findon, West Sussex.
Police at the scene where a man was stabbed to death by another motorist in Findon, West Sussex, following a crash.

A man is being questioned by detectives tonight over the alleged road rage murder of a great-grandfather who was killed following a minor crash on a village road.

Donald Lock, 79, was knifed repeatedly after he got out of his car following the shunt on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing, West Sussex.

Married for 55 years, Mr Lock, a veteran member of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club, died at the scene at around 8.40pm last night.

His family revealed that he had recently been given the all-clear from cancer and was due to become a great grandfather for the sixth time.

A 34-year-old man, from Worthing, is being questioned tonight on suspicion of murder after he was arrested by armed officers some 18 hours later.

A Sussex Police spokesman said detectives were "not looking for anyone else at this time" in connection with Mr Lock's death.

Before he died, Mr Lock attended a social gathering of Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club, which stages a weekly evening 10-mile time trial in the summer, its secretary Adrian Palmer said.

Mr Lock was believed to have been on his way home when he crashed into the back of another car, got out of his vehicle and was stabbed multiple times.

The death devastated family and friends of Mr Lock, a Brighton and Hove Albion season ticket holder who still cycled up to 150 miles a week, relatives said.

In a statement, they said: "He still holds the club record for the 24-hour time trial having remained unbeaten for 44 years. He was full of energy having recently been given the all-clear from cancer.

"Not only was he passionate about cycling but he had also been supporting Brighton and Hove Albion since the 1940s and was a season ticket holder.

"He loved travelling the world with his wife Maureen and he adored his family. He and Maureen had just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary."

Mr Lock, known as Don, leaves son Andy, daughter Sandra, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, with the sixth great-grandchild due later this year. He had lived in Worthing for 55 years.

Relatives added: "He was hugely loved by his family and friends and could often be called upon for his cycling or travel advice. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed."

Flowers were placed and tributes were paid to Mr Lock as cordons remained in place on the bypass where the death happened.

A sobbing woman, believed to be Mr Lock's wife, turned up at the scene to lay flowers, along with other distraught family members.

As she was guided to a car afterwards by police family liaison officers, she said: "He was a wonderful husband for 55 years and it finishes like this."

Mr Lock's daughter, Sandra, and granddaughter, Kirsty, were also among a steady stream of people who arrived at the scene.

The distraught-looking pair held each other for support as they stood close to the spot where Mr Lock lost his life.

Part of a card laid at the scene read: "Grandad, there are no words to express how I'm feeling. I have lost a very special grandad. My only grandad. I love you so much.

"You will be truly missed by so many people. I just wish I could hug you one last time."

Mr Palmer described Mr Lock as a long-serving, committed member of the cycling club who for many years was its "backbone".

He said: "Don was a kind, gentle and fair man and a good friend. He was a key member of Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club, in fact he was the backbone of the club for many, many years.

"He was also well-respected throughout the cycling fraternity. He was a member of Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club for about 50 years and served the club well in many different roles.

"Don was an enthusiastic member and, although he no longer raced, would always support the club in its many ventures and would offer support, guidance and encouragement to all."

John Lucas, who had known Mr Lock for more than 50 years, said: "It's such a terrible thing. He was an unbelievable guy. He would do anything for anyone.

"I can't understand how it happened. He wouldn't have got out of the car and caused any trouble at all.

"He wasn't that type of guy."

Officers were carrying out house-to-house inquiries as locals described their shock at such an event happening in a sleepy village close to the Downs.

Laura Muchmore, 21, who works in a garden centre close to the scene, said: "It's really shocking for an area like this.

"Nothing ever happens round here. And it's especially shocking that the victim was an old man. Findon is a really lovely little village. It's so picturesque and it's not known for this type of crime."

Another resident, who declined to be named, said: "It's horrendous. It's such a quiet little village and so unusual for something like this to happen."

Police teams were carrying out fingertip searches of the undergrowth down the middle of the carriageway where the incident happened.

Detective Superintendent Adam Hibbert, of the Sussex and Surrey major crime team, said: "A man is in custody on suspicion of murder.

"I continue to appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision on the A24 at 8.40pm last night, or who may have CCTV or dashboard cameras of the area at that time, to come to assist our investigation."

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting Operation Wise.

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