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Second man held over robbery death


Police have arrested a man in connection with the robbery

Police have arrested a man in connection with the robbery

Police have arrested a man in connection with the robbery

A second man has been arrested in connection with the death of a retired caretaker who was attacked during a robbery at his home on Christmas Day.

Stephen Starkey, 61, was injured when he was robbed at his home in the Lowedges area of Sheffield on December 25 by a man who took a PlayStation 3 console and cash from him, police have said.

He died later in hospital.

Tonight, South Yorkshire Police said a 37-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident had been released on bail pending further inquiries but detectives had now arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

Earlier, Mr Starkey's 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 that Mr Starkey lived by himself and had been attacked earlier this year in a similar incident.

He said: "This bloke had come and knocked him down in the doorway and pinched his things off him.

"He (Mr Starkey) come over to me and we rung for ambulances and police and things like that.

"He was very shook up.

"He'd done his shoulder, cracked his shoulder, I think, and they'd knocked him about."

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.

He said: "It's a very quiet area usually. Fairly quiet. They're all bought properties, mainly."

Asked what he thought about the person who attacked his friend, he said: "I wouldn't like to say."

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 on Christmas Day.

It a statement, 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 25 December 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.

"The family of Mr Starkey have asked for privacy while they grieve their loss and request the media to respect this wish at this difficult time."

The statement said that a post mortem examination is yet to be carried out

Earlier police said Mr Starkey was inside his home when he answered a knock at his door.

They said the man entered the house and took a PlayStation 3 and cash before fleeing the scene.

Yesterday, as Mr Starkey was still fighting for his life in hospital and before an arrest was made, Detective Inspector Richard Partridge said the assault took place "on Christmas Day in broad daylight".

He said: "We believe that the suspect deliberately targeted this man's house, forcing his way into the property and injuring a vulnerable member of the community before stealing valuables."

Today the only sign of the attack at Mr Starkey's mid-terrace home was the fingerprinting powder left around his front door by the police.

A team of uniformed officers were combing the wider area, using long sticks to search in the ankle deep snow.

Mr Starkey's home is in an estate of houses on the southern edge of the city, not far from the main A61 route to Chesterfield.

Since the incident, Mr Starkey's small front garden, which is lined with potted plants, has had a covering of snow.

The 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

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