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Suspect in triple murder of EastEnders' Sian Blake and sons held in Ghana

By Kate Ferguson

British police have not formally requested the extradition of the suspected killer of ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake, according to reports.

Arthur Simpson-Kent was captured on the beach in Ghana on Saturday after fleeing the UK following the deaths of his former partner and their two young sons, Zachary (8) and four-year-old Amon.

Scotland Yard launched a murder investigation after their bodies were discovered in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent. All three had died as a result of head and neck injuries, police said.

In images broadcast on the BBC, a scruffy-looking Simpson-Kent looks stony-faced as he is paraded in front of the cameras and journalists by Ghanaian officials with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The BBC reported that locals in the area where Simpson-Kent had been hiding contacted police on realising he was a wanted man after seeing his image on social media.

Around 10 armed officers descended on to the stony beach on Saturday when he was reportedly found eating a coconut with a spoon.

Police called out to him and he gave himself up.

He was found with a knife in his possession but had not used it in a threatening way, the BBC reported.

Officers from Interpol, the international crime-fighting agency, were involved in the arrest alongside Ghanaian police.

He has been taken to a local police station and is expected to be flown back to the UK for questioning shortly.

ITV news said a police spokesman had said: "He was at a hideout in Western Region. With the kind of collaboration between the police and public that we have, we managed to nab him there."

An Interpol spokesman in Ghana said Simpson-Blake was last night being driven to the capital Accra from the port city of Takoradi, ITV reported.

Scotland Yard detectives have flown to the West African country, but the BBC reported that the authorities are yet to make a formal request for his extradition.

Scotland Yard said an extradition request will be made "in due course".

The Ghanaian authorities cannot hold a suspect for more than 48 hours without putting him before a court, and so it is likely Simpson-Kent will go before a judge today and that police will apply to have him remanded in custody.

Ghana CID director general Prosper Agblor said: "The fugitive is in our custody awaiting an official request from the British Government via the diplomatic channels for his extradition to the United Kingdom."

Scotland Yard officers have hit back at claims their investigation has been blighted by delays. Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "There are a number of ongoing investigations which I am not at liberty to comment on, from the start of the missing person's enquiry.

"But I am satisfied it was done as quickly as we could to have got here.

"There is nothing we or the Ghanaians could have done any quicker to get out here as quickly as we could."

At a news conference in Ghana's capital Accra, Mr Gwyn added: "I want to pass on my thanks from myself and Scotland Yard and the UK authorities for all the work the Ghanaians have done for us in effecting an arrest.

"The work they have done has been outstanding and I am truly, truly grateful. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done.

"The second thing is our thoughts continue to, and always do remain with, Sian's family and the boys. This is why we are here, this is why we do what we do, and we are here to get justice for them."

Miss Blake's family declined to comment on the arrest at their home in Leyton, east London.

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