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Victim who died in Christmas robbery 'a smashing fella'

By Staff Reporter

A retired caretaker who died after he was robbed at his home on Christmas Day has been described as a "smashing fella".

Stephen Starkey (61) was attacked at his home in the Lowedges area of Sheffield by a man who took a PlayStation 3 console and cash from him, police have said.

His friend and neighbour, Derek Wilkinson (79), said Mr Starkey managed to get over the road to his house to raise the alarm after he was assaulted on Christmas morning.

Mr Wilkinson said his friend even managed to walk into an ambulance after he was treated by paramedics in the pensioner's home.

He said Mr Starkey was able to tell him how he was barged to the ground by someone who called at his door. He said his friend came over the road to raise the alarm because his attacker had taken his phone.

Mr Wilkinson said he had lived in the street for 40 years and his friend had been in the house where he lived by himself for 30 years.

He said: "I knew him very well - a very big friend of mine. He was a smashing fella. He was a very nice fella and he'll be missed."

Mr Wilkinson said Mr Starkey used to work locally as a caretaker for the council's housing department but had retired.

Other neighbours said Mr Starkey was not in good health and frail.

Police described him as vulnerable.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed Mr Starkey had died in hospital after he was attacked. The force said: "The 61-year-old man who died after a reported assault and robbery at his home in Lowedges on Christmas Day has been named as Stephen Paul Starkey.

"Mr Starkey was at his home in Reney Crescent on Thursday, December 25 when at around 10.30am a man entered his property, allegedly assaulting him and stealing items. Mr Starkey was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries where he later died."

A postmortem examination is yet to be carried out

Police added: "We believe that the suspect deliberately targeted this man's house."

A 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is in custody.

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