A pensioner has been arrested for attempted murder after his wife was found with life threatening head injuries at their home.
Dudley Boakes, 79, was arrested at his home in Grasmere Avenue in Sompting by officers after they were called to the home at 6.45pm on Thursday night.
His 70-year-old wife Sandra remains in a “critical but stable” condition at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after suffering a serious head injury at the home.
Sussex Police confirmed it was the victim's husband who called the emergency services to the house they have shared for 15 years.
Neighbours yesterday spoke of their shock of seeing a huge police presence in the “street where nothing happens” and wished Mrs Boakes a speedy recovery.
They said they believed the pair have a son and daughter between them and a granddaughter.
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Neighbour Phyllis Metcalfe, 86, said: “I saw a police car draw up, then another one came and another and there was about six.
“I could see there was something really serious and then they started putting the tape up.
“I was in my lounge and they took Dudley and then there was somebody on a stretcher but I couldn't see who it was.
“I always have a laugh together with Sandra.
“Dudley is a very quiet man but he is always there if I needed him, he would come round for handiwork.
“They seem to be a happy couple.
“I was only talking to her the other day and she seemed fine but said she was a bit fed-up.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “We are all absolutely gobsmacked.
“She is lovely, absolutely lovely.
“Whenever I see her she will always ask how my wife is doing.
“We had been out at the carvery and when we came back I saw all these blinking lights in my eye, it was like Miami.
“I have seen it all before but not on my own doorstep.”
Another resident added: “I saw all the police cars and ambulances in the street, it was chaotic.
“You don't expect this here, ours is the kind of street where nothing happens.”
DCI Mike Ashcroft, Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: "This is a tragic incident.
“We are conducting house to house enquiries and appeal to anyone with information of what happened to come forward.
"Forensic examinations are taking place and the man is helping police with our enquiries."
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting Operation Albany.