Businesswoman murder: woman (34) in court

Sadie Hartley
Sadie Hartley

Police have charged a woman with the murder of a 60-year-old businesswoman in Helmshore and are continuing to question a second female suspect.

Sarah Williams (34) of Blacon, Chester, is accused of killing mum-of-three Sadie Hartley, who was found stabbed to death at her home in Sunny Bank Road, Helmshore, on Friday evening.

The 34-year-old is due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday).

Police have said a post-mortem examination revealed Ms Hartley, who ran a medical communications business based in Cheshire, died from multiple stab wounds.

A spokesman said: “Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service we have today charged a woman with the murder of Sadie Hartley in Helmshore.

The 55-year-old woman from Chester, who was arrested on Monday, on suspicion of murder remains in custody.

Detectives are still appealing for the public’s help to trace several people seen near her home on Thursday evening, including the driver of a passing car.

A police spokesman said officers wanted to identify a person seen passing a man as he walked out of Sunny Bank Road on Thursday evening and an unknown person who walked into the cul-de-sac before leaving a few minutes later.

They also want to trace an “old-style” Renault Clio and its driver, which was seen arriving in Sunny Bank Road just before 8pm on the same night and drove off moments later.

The investigating team was also keen to hear from anyone with information about people asking for the location of Sunny Bank Road in the days or weeks leading up to the murder.

A man and a jogger seen on Sunny Bank Road have been identified as locals.