An 85-year-old man was last night in custody on suspicion of murdering his 71-year-old wife.

The man, named locally as Fred Saunders, was taken to a police station after paramedics were called to the couple’s home shortly after 10.30am yesterday (November 29).

His wife, who neighbours said was called Mary Saunders, was found dead in the bedroom.

The incident occurred in a ground-floor flat at a block of flats in King George VI Mansions, off Court Farm Road, in the Hangleton area of Hove.

A police source said: "a mercy killing was one line of inquiry."

Last night a lone police officer stood guard outside the flat while scenes of crimes officers carried items to a waiting forensics van.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she saw Fred on Wednesday, November 28 in the hallway as they both went to get their post.

She added: “The police called round today and asked when I last saw him. They asked if I had seen him yesterday, and I said I had.”

Friendly couple

The neighbour also said the couple – who she said had been married for a long time and had lived in the flat for about six years – “would always say hello” and were “very nice” and “friendly”. She added: “I did not know that Marion had died and it is very sad.”

Another neighbour, who also did not wish to be named, said: “They always seemed so happy.

“They were both very friendly.

“I feel so sad.”

A Sussex Police statement said last night: “The ambulance service called police to a flat after a report that an elderly woman was dead at the address.

“Police and paramedics discovered the body of a woman in the bedroom.

“A man was taken from the address to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment for minor injuries and has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.

“Officers from the Surrey and |Sussex Major Crime Team are investigating. The man and woman are known to each other and police are|not looking for anyone else.

“There are no apparent external injuries and the cause of death has not yet been established."

A post-mortem examination is taking place at 1pm today (November 30).

Did you know Mrs Saunders? Leave your tributes below or email


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